Covid-19 variants: Understand the differences and strains that exist | the health

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The rate of transmission of variables worries scientists

The terms “mutation” and ” alternative
It quickly entered the vocabulary of Brazilians during the pandemic COVID-19
. The genetic changes of the virus, which is transmitted around the world, worry scientists and leave the population on alert.

In order for a new variant to appear, it is necessary to carry out a genetic change in the virus. They undergo frequent transformations, and not all of them reach alarming levels.

These changes can increase the ability to be contagious or transmissible and, in more severe cases, can make the disease more devastating to the immune system.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 11 different types of COVID-19 have been identified worldwide. The World Health Organization divides mutations into mutations of concern – they are easy to transmit and cause serious infections; A benefit that does not show a significant increase in these aspects. understand:

anxiety variables

– India (B 1.617.2)

The delta variant was identified in India in December 2021, and its portability has increased. The mutation reached Brazil in May, and according to a report by the United Nations’ Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), in July it was already prevalent in nearly 90% of samples collected worldwide.

Delta is currently traded in more than 111 countries, and surveys show a 50% higher level of portability than its predecessors. At least 50 people have died of the strain in Brazil. Yesterday (31), São Paulo recorded the first victim – a 74-year-old woman, who has already been vaccinated with two doses of Coronavac.

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Alpha – United Kingdom (p.1.1.7)

In the British variant, nicknamed Alfa, it spread in the early months of 2021, and caused the UK to delay reopening the country completely. In it, scientists hypothesized a higher potential for lethality, which has not yet been proven by research; In addition to greater portability. To contain the strain’s arrival, Brazil temporarily suspended the arrival of flights from India, South Africa and the United Kingdom.

Beta – South Africa (B 1.351)

The beta variant was identified in October 2020. The virus causes a reduction in the action of antibodies, which hinders the body’s response to treatment and the recovery of those infected. Scientists are still researching whether the strain is linked to more severe cases. Unlike delta and alpha, the variant did not reach many countries, but quickly spread throughout the region, as well as gamma, in Brazil.

Range – Brazil (P1)

The chaos that Manaus experienced at the beginning of 2021 has a significant contribution from the Brazilian variant of Gamma, called P.1. The transmissibility of the strain is 2.4 times greater than that of the main variant of the coronavirus, and it is able to neutralize the antibodies circulating in the body, which increases the risk of infection again.

important variables

In addition to the variants that focus the researchers’ interest, there is also a list of strains with a lower degree of transmission and severity. are they:

– Epsilon variant (B 1427 and B 1429): found in California;

– Variant Zeta (P.2): found in Brazil;

– ETA variant (B.1525): found in Nigeria;

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– Theta variant (P.3 and B.1.616): found in the Philippines and France;

– Iota variant (B.1526): present in the United States;

– Casing variant (B.1617.1; B1.620 and B.1.621): Found in India and Colombia;

– Variant Lambda (C.37), found in Peru.

Still there Variation C.1.2
, which originated from the C.1 strain, which dominated the infection in the first wave of the pandemic in South Africa in 2020. It has not yet received any classification from the World Health Organization, but it has characteristics similar to Alpha, Beta and Gamma, and is under observation. Since its appearance, the new strain has also been found in seven other countries in Africa, Oceania, Asia and Europe, such as Portugal, England and Switzerland, as well as China, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mauritius and New Zealand.

According to the Ministry of Health, all vaccines currently available in Brazil – Pfizer, Astrazeneca, Janssen and Coronavac, are effective against variants. According to the volume, more than 130 thousand people have already received the first dose. In all, 190 million doses have been applied since vaccination began.

However, it is necessary to pay attention to the second dose of immunization: with the exception of Janssen, which is used in a single dose, all vaccinations require two visits to the health center in order to complete protection.

The Ministry of Health announced, last Wednesday, the start of the application of booster doses for the elderly over the age of 70 and those with weak immunity in September. In some states, the calendar has been introduced, and advocacy for the third dose has already begun.

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