Variants – Trouble Ahead

Angie SzumlinskiAnnouncements, Health

SARS-CoV-2 variants from the UK., South Africa, Brazil, and even the U.S. will require researchers to be “nimble” to keep up with them, and make vaccination against the virus even more essential, Anthony Fauci, MD, said at a White House COVID-19 press briefing. With variants estimated to become the dominant cause of infections in the U.S. by the end of March or early April, Fauci also stressed the importance of vaccination, because otherwise, “viruses have a playing field to mutate”.

Modeling data indicate that B.1.1.7 has the potential to increase the U.S. pandemic trajectory in the coming months. DC’s system for genomic surveillance and the effort to expand sequencing will increase the availability of timely U.S. genomic surveillance data. The increased transmissibility of the B.1.1.7 variant warrants universal and increased compliance with mitigation strategies, including distancing and masking. Higher vaccination coverage might need to be achieved to protect the public. Genomic sequence analysis through the National SARS-CoV-2 Strain Surveillance program will enable a targeted approach to identifying variants of concern in the United States.

Please pay attention, listen to the science, don’t let your guard down, we are so close to the end of the tunnel and the light is not an oncoming train! Stay the course, stay well, mask up, get vaccinated, and stay tuned!