Adding Salt To the Wound: New Covid Strain Threatens the U.S.

A new variant of the Coronavirus is on the rise and causing problems.

The novel Covid-19 pandemic has been one of the most unprecedented events the world has ever experienced. Over the past year, our worlds have been seemingly flipped upside down, and life as we know it has changed dramatically. With the U.S. continuing to struggle in trying to contain this virus, another factor has just stepped into the ring to make things more difficult. Now, doctors are finding that there is an even more contagious strain of the Coronavirus spreading throughout the world. 

This strain was first detected over in England back in September of 2020. It is a mutation to the virus likely caused by difference in geographic location. Scientists are calling this strain the B.1.1.7 variant, and it is 50-70 percent more contagious than the regular Coronavirus. It has also since become the dominant strain of Covid-19 within England, and B.1.1.7 has spread to other countries  such as Denmark and the Netherlands as well as the United States and Canada). Since first being discovered, B.1.1.7 has caused another wave of lockdowns and tighter Covid-19 restrictions in the U.K., which is something that the U.S. intends to avoid as they continue to worry about this new strain.  

With the U.S. continuing to struggle in trying to contain this virus, another factor has just stepped into the ring to make things more difficult.”

Unfortunately, extensive information is not known about B.1.1.7 other than the fact that it is highly contagious. Therefore, experts expect it to spread rapidly in the U.S. in the coming months. It is predicted that it will become the dominant strain of Coronavirus by March of this year. Hence, Scientists are working around the clock to find as much information as possible so we can be ready for the looming B.1.1.7 takeover and prevent anymore spikes in Covid-19 cases. During their studies, they have found that, luckily, B.1.1.7 does not cause deadlier or more severe cases of the Coronavirus. This strain is fortunately just more contagious and not more deadly, but it will likely cause an increase in the number of cases which tends to lead to an increase in hospitalizations and deaths as well.

Another big question raised by the surge of B.1.1.7 is how Covid-19 vaccines will perform in protecting against strains of the virus. From what we know now, Scientists have found that all vaccines approved for public use are equally effective at preventing strains of the Coronavirus as they are at preventing the main virus. Essentially, it is the same thing with slightly different components that cause it to be more contagious, but the vaccines that have been produced are made to stop all forms of Covid-19. This is great news as the U.S. continues to roll out vaccines in mass numbers. As of January 27, over 47 million doses of the Covid vaccine have been distributed. While we still have a long way to go, this is a great start in preventing any and all strains of the Coronavirus. 

Some of the most talented doctors and scientists are working together to beat this virus, so Americans should remain optimistic and know they are in good hands when it comes to these variants.”

Aside from the B.1.1.7 variant of Covid-19, there have been numerous other relevant strains of the Coronavirus that have been discovered as well. Although B.1.1.7 is the most prevalent strain, the other ones are not to be taken lightly. There was a variant discovered in South Africa as well as one that originated from Brazil and was found when Brazilian travelers tested positive for it in Japan. Unlike B.1.1.7, these strains have not made their way to the U.S., but Americans should be on the lookout for them in the future. With each new strain that appears, the Coronavirus becomes just a bit harder to treat and understand. Luckily, there have been a multitude of mutations of Covid-19 already, and the U.S. has handled them with grace. Truly, these variants aren’t so different from the main Coronavirus, so no one should be too worried about the spread of them.

B.1.1.7, among other Coronavirus variants, is something that Americans must be prepared for, but this isn’t anything to start panicking over. While the U.S. hasn’t done the most impressive job at containing this pandemic, the rollout of vaccines coupled with improving treatment methods are making it much easier to control everyday. Some of the most talented doctors and scientists are working together to beat this virus, so Americans should remain optimistic and know they are in good hands when it comes to these variants. That being said, everyone should continue to carry out the proper safety precautions and be vigilant in order to subdue the spread of Coronavirus.