Scientists at the University of California (USA) explained the outbreaks of the incidence of COVID-19 and the emergence of new waves with the emergence of new strains of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.
Experts from the Davis School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California conducted genetic studies on coronavirus and concluded that recent outbreaks of the COVID-19 pandemic are associated with the emergence of new variants of infection. . In total, they sequenced the genome of two thousand SARS-CoV-2 samples. Scientists have presented the results of the study in the journal Scientific Reports, according to RIA Novosti.
Although SARS-CoV-2 has only 15 genes, it is constantly mutating. Most of these changes are minor, but some affect the transmission speed. Geneticists have studied data from 150 strains of SARS-Cov-2 in Asian countries as of March 1, 2020. They also analyzed information on the epidemiology and transmission of the virus during the first outbreaks, defining the main parameters of ‘these episodes separately for periods of takeoff, exponential growth, and decreased infection. Scientists have combined all the information received in the metric of the genetic variability of the pathogen, which is called GENI. Comparison of GENI scores with the epidemic phase showed that the increase in genetic variability occurred just before the increase in incidence. “So as new options emerge, there will be more outbreaks,” study professor Bart Weimer said in a university press release.
For example, in late February 2020 in South Korea, there was an increase in such genetic variability, which led to an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases. In addition, in Singapore, public health authorities, after reviewing the number of infected people, tried to resolve the situation quickly. In the UK, from February to April 2020, genetic varieties grew; in parallel, there was an increase in cases. The British government introduced national isolation only in late March, at the same time as the number of new cases stabilized.
The analysis showed that outbreaks of the spread of coronavirus in several countries were stopped thanks to the introduction of quarantine, according to scientists. This reduced the risk of virus transmission. Experts hope the new approach developed to study the forms of coronavirus transmission and development will help predict possible new outbreaks or even the development of epidemics and pandemics in the future, whether it be coronavirus, influenza or any new pathogen.
Recall that in mid-December was known the appearance of the so-called “British” coronavirus strain. The “Danish” variant of the infection was previously identified. In addition, doctors reported the existence of the “South African” strain and the Japanese version of the coronavirus. At the same time, according to scientists, the new strains of SARS-CoV-2 do not cause a more severe course of the disease and do not affect mortality.
At the time of material preparation, there were 131,423,013 confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection in the world. The total number of deaths from coronavirus infection in the world is 2,860,347 people, 99,266,788 infected have been cured. In Russia, 4.58 million victims were identified, and it remains in fifth place after the United States, Brazil, India and France. More than 4 million victims are in the UK. Italy, Turkey and Spain crossed the border of three million victims of coronavirus infection. More than two million people are affected in Germany, Poland, Colombia, Argentina and Mexico. More than a million infected: in Iran, Ukraine, Peru, the Czech Republic, South Africa, Indonesia, the Netherlands, Chile and Canada.