dr. Anthony Fauci warned Tuesday that the coronavirus variant that first emerged in India could become the dominant strain in the US
Known as B.1.617.2 – and also referred to as the Delta variant – it is referred to as a “double mutant” by the Indian Ministry of Health because it has two mutations on parts of the virus that help it adapt to our cells. crochet.
In the UK, the mutation has overtaken B.1.1.7, the so-called Alpha variant, which originated in Great Britain.
Fauci, who is America’s leading infectious disease expert, said the Indian variant is responsible for six percent of all cases sequenced in the US and he is concerned the percentage could rise further.
“We can’t let that happen in the United States, which is such a powerful argument… to get vaccinated,” Fauci said at the White House’s COVID-19 task force briefing.
“Especially if you’ve had your first dose, make sure you get that second dose — and for those who haven’t been vaccinated yet, please get vaccinated.”
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dr. Anthony Fauci warned at a press conference on Tuesday that the Indian variety is overtaking the UK and the same could happen in the US if people don’t get vaccinated
The Indian variant, known as B.1.617.2 or the Delta variant, currently accounts for 6% of all coronavirus cases sequenced in the US
The variant was first discovered in the state of Maharashtra, India’s second most populous state and where Mumbai is located.
The number of cases has fallen sharply since September, but started to rise in April with a 50 percent increase in cases in the first week of May alone.
It was due to the sequence of such a large number of cases that the province’s health ministry was able to identify the variant.
In a statement, officials said the variant was linked to 15 to 20 percent of samples sequenced from the state of Maharashtra.
Indian health authorities have called the variant a “double mutant” because it carries two mutations: L452R and E484Q.
L452R is the same mutation seen in the California-bred variant and E484Q is similar to the mutation seen in the Brazilian and South African variants.
Both mutations occur in key parts of the virus that allow it to invade and infect human cells.
It has the worst of two very bad mutations out there and that’s a big concern,” Dr. Ali Mokdad, an epidemiologist at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, told DailyMail.com last month.
Mokdad said the variant could be both a more contagious variant, such as the California variant, and an “escape variant” such as those from Brazil and South Africa, making vaccines less effective.
Fauci, the director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID), said the Indian variant is most common in the UK, especially among young people, who are least likely to have been vaccinated.
‘In the UK, the Delta variant is the rapidly emerging as the dominant variant, [accounting for] more than 60 percent. It replaces the B.1.1.7’, he warned.
“If we talk to their health authorities, transmission peaks in the younger group of 12 to 20 year olds — especially that group that we’re concerned about here, to make sure they get vaccinated.”
Fauci added that several studies have shown that there is poor protection against the Delta variant with one dose, but strong protection with two.
As of Tuesday, more than 63 percent of U.S. adults have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
However, President Joe Biden has set a goal of reaching the 70 percent threshold by July 4.
At the same briefing, CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said vaccinations were the cause of the plummeting number of cases and deaths in the US, and urged more people to roll up their sleeves.
“There’s more work to be done,” she said.