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California is not doing well: the new coronavirus variant found here is accelerating its spread.
According to the latest preprint study published by the University of California, San Francisco, this virus is more infectious: on September 1, 2020, this mutant virus accounted for nearly 0% of the infected people in California; by January 29, 2021, 50% of the new cases in California were this mutant virus.
Local time on February 23, "science" reported that laboratory studies and epidemiological data show that the new pandemic coronavirus variant is not only easier to spread, but also appears to be more toxic. The patients infected by it are at higher risk of entering ICU and death.
Charles Chiu, an infectious disease expert at the University of California, San Francisco, said the new coronavirus variant is worrisome. The data show that it is more infectious, more likely to cause severe symptoms, and can resist partial neutralizing antibodies. Qiu Huayan said the variant needed urgent follow-up investigation. The study has not been peer-reviewed.
In the University of California, San Francisco study, they collected virus samples from patients in 44 California counties from September 1, 2020 to January 29, 2021, and sequenced 2172 viral genomes. There are two forms of the newly discovered variants, which are labeled b.1.427 and b.1.429, respectively.
The researchers also obtained medical records of 324 new crown patients in medical centers and clinics under the University of California, San Francisco. The researchers adjusted the data for age, gender and ethnic differences and found that patients with the variant were 4.8 times more likely to enter ICU and 11 times more likely to die than those with other new coronavirus variants.
In laboratory studies, b.1.429 also affected the neutralization efficiency of neutralizing antibody. The neutralizing antibody extracted from the blood of the convalescent population of the new coronavirus is four times lower than that of the original coronavirus when encountering the new coronavirus mutation found in California. The neutralizing ability of neutralizing antibodies in people vaccinated with Pfizer or Moderna mRNA vaccine was reduced by two times when encountering the new coronavirus variant found in California. The researchers said the extent of the decline was more significant.
However, the number of cases is still not large enough, which is the defect of this study. This makes it need to further expand the sample size in statistics.