New Mutated Strain Suspected to be Behind California Crisis

Clinical nurse Zachary Petterson tends to a COVID-19 patient at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose, Calif., Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles believe they discovered a new, mutated strain of the coronavirus to be behind a third of the area’s cases. California is in crisis with an explosion of cases, and much of the state is in lockdown and the hospitals are struggling to not be overwhelmed.

Mutations are rapidly appearing across the world, and while none of them so far are more deadly, at least one is significantly more infectious, making risk of a surge overwhelming hospitals a frightening possibility.

New variant strains have been found South Africa, Brazil, and the United Kingdom. The U.K. mutation is estimated to be up to 50-70% more infectious.

“We need to do everything we can now … to get transmission as low as we possibly can,” Harvard University’s Dr. Michael Mina told Fox News 5. “The best way to prevent mutant strains from emerging is to slow transmission.”

Though vaccine makers have stated their confidence that their vaccines will be effective against the new strains, there is a risk these new strains make the drugs being used to treat coronavirus patients less effective, There is also the fear that, as the virus mutates, it will become more deadly to young people, who by and large have been spared the worst of the disease.

The best way to prevent new mutations is to deny the virus the opportunity to spread and change among people. Scientists and medical experts are pleading with the public to avoid large gatherings and to wear masks whenever outside their homes.

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smarcus@hamodia.com

 


Updated Wednesday, January 20, 2021 at 11:45 am .