There are many strains of COVID-19, but recently scientists have discovered a new coronavirus strain that seems to be more contagious than the last. It developed in Europe and traveled to the East Coast of the United States.
Scientists say they found the new strain while researching for COVID-19 vaccines. Due to this, there is concern that the treatments they are currently working on will not be useful long-term.
Along with the idea that the vaccine will not be effective, it is also suspected that if you contract this strain of the virus, you may be more susceptible to a second infection. It is unknown how likely you are to get infected again with the earlier strains of the virus.
Its widespread appearance all over the world is what led researchers to believe that it is far more infectious. In certain nations, it has completely overtaken the rest of the strains. In the United States, news reporters had been following the New York numbers due to the exponential growth of the virus. In just a month, the new strain managed to dominate the original strain and infect many people.
The high increase of cases grabbed the full attention of the news, spreading the word of a potentially new strain. The Los Angeles Times released an article stating, “In many places where the new strand appeared, it quickly infected far more people than the earlier strands that came out of Wuhan, China.”
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates there are about 12,000 – 61,000 annual deaths from the flu because of how much the virus mutates. Scientists are hoping that this new COVID-19 strain will not mutate like the flu due to its stability. Hopefully, only one vaccine will be needed rather than a new one every year.
Most concerning about a mutated virus is that once a stronger strain, or one with mutations, enters a region, it will overtake the current epidemic and spread faster.
With this new strain of the COVID-19 virus spreading so rapidly, there are many concerns amongst the general public.
Will the virus be eradicated? Will it come back stronger in the fall? Will it go away at all?
Junior Alanna Reid says, “As we are in unprecedented times, the world has gone a bit crazy with the unknown. This new version of the coronavirus is concerning me and a lot of other people because there is a much greater chance of us getting it. I am also especially worried about the people who have weakened immune systems because it will be even more dangerous for them to leave their houses.”
Scientists and researchers are hoping to get this new strain of COVID-19 under control in these trying times.