New York is spreading its own strain of coronavirus

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Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on February 28 that authorities are very serious about the emergence of the new COVID-19 strain that is now spreading in New York.

Fauci theorized that the New York strain probably originated in the Washington Heights area, an area in upper Manhattan, and then spread to other neighborhoods. Strain B.1.526 first appeared in New York in November 2020, and now makes up about 25% of the coronavirus genomes that were sequenced in city laboratories in February. It is believed that this mutation may reduce the effectiveness of vaccines and treatment with monoclonal antibodies.

Researchers have now identified two “branches” of B.1.526. One branch has a mutation called E484K, which has also been seen in other variants of the coronavirus, including South Africa and Brazil. Another branch has a mutation called S477N, which can help the virus bind more tightly to cells.

The terms “mutation” and “deletion” are often used incorrectly or ambiguously, and each detected strain is presented as a scandalous fact. However, this is not the first time that the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 has mutated, and it will not be the last. The genome of SARS-CoV-2 is a long RNA sequence consisting of about 30 thousand nucleotides, following one after another in strict order. During the “assembly” of each new copy of the virus in any of the chain links, it is possible to replace one nucleotide with another, as a result of which the code of the entire chain changes. And when scientists talk about new strains, they mean a variant of the virus that differs in one or more mutations from its “parent”. It must be understood that all viruses always mutate with each reproduction cycle in each cell. In fact, the more people get sick, the more the virus mutates – passing through different organisms, changing several hosts, it changes, adapts and becomes less lethal; this is the natural pathway for any virus to develop. Another thing is that the large-scale spread of more resistant infectious variants can lead to a new wave of a pandemic. Therefore, the authorities are urging those Americans who are eligible for the vaccine to get it as soon as possible to reduce this likelihood.

Published in the newspaper “Moskovsky Komsomolets” No. 0 dated November 30 -0001

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New York is spreading its own strain of coronavirus