The Californian strain of the coronavirus spreads: "The devil is already here"

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source: nature.com

The California strain of SARS-CoV-2 has experts on alert. Following concerns about British, Brazilian, and South African varieties, a strain that emerged in May and have become dominant is developing and expanding very rapidly in California (USA).

This variant not only spreads more easily but is additionally capable of evading the antibodies generated by the vaccine or previous infection of COVID-19. Besides, it's the reason behind serious illness or perhaps death.

As the l. a. Times recently published, this can be a "variant of concern." The media collected statements from Dr. Charles Chiu, communicable disease researcher and doctor at the University of California at urban center (USCF), who assures that “the devil is already here. I wish it were different, but science is science ”. USCF studies indicate that it's highly likely that it'll already account for up to 90% of infections within the state by the tip of next month.

California strain coronavirus Why is it such a dangerous variant?
As with the united kingdom variant, this Californian strain, B.1.427 / B.1.429, is more contagious. "Compared to the strains that were most vital here within the early fall, the new strain appears to own a greater ability to spread, " explains Chiu. The samples obtained indicate that it's 19% to 24% more transmissible and can cause 90% of the infections within the state within the next month.

The results showed that compared to people infected with other covid-19 strains, the Californian infected had twice higher viral loads within the nasopharynx, which further increases the probability that the infected person will infect others.

What about the vaccine?
The analyses distributed showed that the Californian variant was more immune to the antibodies generated in response to the covid-19 vaccines and former infection. When the strain challenged neutralizing antibodies, its effectiveness was cut in half.

"I anticipate that over time it'll affect vaccination," Chiu emphasizes. Scientists' concern lies within the undeniable fact that some strains weaken the further they spread, but during this case, this weakness has not been found and perhaps highly virulent.

Regarding the amount of deaths during the last months in California, Chiu made it clear that this doesn't mean that the strain is more lethal, but that it's going to only be an indicator of its high degree of transmissibility, which caused a saturation of hospitals and health resources and, therefore, a high number of deaths.

The evidence on this California variant shows that the symptoms are more serious and also the vaccines less effective: "We should attempt to reduce the contagion of this strain, and this includes reinforcing hygienic measures, limiting public events and accelerating the vaccination campaign," he said the scientist.