Recently, new variants of the coronavirus started emerging in various parts of the world including Brazil. The Brazil coronavirus variant traveled to the UK and caused infections in the country. According to the researchers, this variant has a high ability to spread among people and may cause more infections. Also, this variant can overcome the immunity of the body from a previous coronavirus infection as well.
This study suggests that the transmission rate of this virus could be twice higher than the strain of coronavirus present in Brazil. Moreover, the chance of reinfection with this virus increased by 25 to 60%. However, experts suggest that this data does not indicate the future of the Brazil coronavirus variant in the UK.
According to one of the researchers of this study, the strain found in Brazil ay not spread as much in the UK. Since the UK only has six coronavirus cases with this variant and the authorities are closely monitoring this situation.
Prof Ester Sabino is an infectious disease expert at the University of São Paulo in Brazil. She mentioned that six cases are not enough to cause an epidemic and contact tracing can help limit the number of cases due to this strain.
The researchers in Brazil are tracking the activity of the coronavirus over the past year. Last year, the country diagnosed the coronavirus cases just like the rest of the world. A huge population of Brazil got the coronavirus infection at that time. Moreover, data shows that three-quarters of the Brazilian population gained immunity against the virus one way or another.
Even though most of the population has immunity against the coronavirus infection, another wave of the virus hit Manaus, a city in Brazil hard his winter. The team of researchers from Imperial College London and Brazil studies the genome of the novel coronavirus from people who got the infection during November and December. They also predicted the outcomes of the pandemic due to this virus.
According to the researchers, the new variant called the P.1 strain emerged in November in Brazil. This strain spread rapidly in the country and caused many reinfections in people who already recovered from the infection.
Even though this research provides preliminary data, the findings are according to the expectations of the experts. The new variants of the virus are more contagious and spread rapidly among humans. Also, some of these variants can resist the immunity of the body against the coronavirus infection.
These facts raise concerns regarding the efficacy of the available vaccines. The coronavirus vaccines were designed with the earlier strain in mind, however, experts believe that they may also work against the variants. Researchers have already started to work on making changes in the existing vaccines. This will make them more effective against the coronavirus variants.
Most companies suggest that the updated vaccines may become available over the next few months. Meanwhile, the authorities in the UK will provide the existing version of the vaccine to the public to provide them immunity against the infection.