Global RiskNews Briefs

The Mutated Virus Is a Ticking Time Bomb

The new coronavirus variant was first identified in the United Kingdom but has now been found in several other countries. Although viruses mutate all the time, there is typically no identifiable impact on symptoms and transmissibility. However, this variant seems to be more transmissible. Just one day after officials announced that the first US case of the variant had been discovered in a Colorado man with no history of travel, another case was detected in California.

Although there are still many unknowns, the major concern lies in whether the variant will throw off vaccine efficacy or cause more severe disease. An initial study indicated that it did not do either, and emerging data lead scientists to believe that the variant will not decrease vaccine efficacy. However, with many hospitals already at capacity and the US infection rate still shockingly high, a more transmissible Covid-19 is a potential catastrophe.

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