“African” strain may be one of the most infectious pathogens – Rossiyskaya Gazeta

by time news

In the global world, the spread of a new “African” strain of coronavirus can occur in just two to three weeks. Andrei Isaev, head of the DNKOM Center for Molecular Genetic Research, told Rossiyskaya Gazeta about this.

“The Botswana strain has already gone beyond South Africa: there is one case in Israel and two in Hong Kong. One of them returned from South Africa, he had two negative PCR tests, but he was still in the observatory, did not leave his room and wore an FFP2 respirator, – Andrey Isaev explained. – As the Western media write, the door to his room was open at some moments, and a man who lived in the room opposite, although they did not meet, fell ill. . “RG”) virus: even without direct contact of patients, it was carried through the corridor. Therefore, a number of experts suggest that the base number of the R0 reproductive index in the new SARS-CoV-2 strain may be so high that it looks like the most infectious infectious disease – measles. And this characteristic of the new strain, as “covid measles”, in the first place and causes concern. “

According to the expert, other facts also cause concern: the media reported that from a group of diplomats, all of whose members were vaccinated and arrived in Botswana, four people were infected with the new strain. “This suggests that those who have immunity caused by other versions of COVID-19 are practically defenseless against the new version of the virus,” Isaev notes.

We live in a globalized world, the spread of airborne infections is now happening rapidly. That is why many countries have already decided to limit air traffic with the countries of South Africa, where a new variant of the coronavirus was discovered.

“We see that as soon as a new strain appears somewhere, it spreads rather quickly. Given the openness of Moscow, I assume that we may have this variant of the virus in 2-3 weeks. Moscow has an active communication with Qatar, and through it Doha airport connects Middle Eastern and European countries with Africa. Patients in Hong Kong flew through Doha, so I assess the risks of the spread of the new strain in Russia as high, “Isaev said.

The expert notes that it is possible to slow down the spread of the new strain with the help of strict quarantine measures.

“It depends on quarantine measures and the strictness of their observance: will Russia now close communications with South African countries or not,” Isaev says. It will take time for the virus variant to spread from Moscow across the country for a month.

The expert also noted that it is important to be engaged in sequencing and studying a new strain. “I think this will be done by specialists from Rospotrebnadzor, as well as from the Research Institute of Gamaleya, because Sputnik V is the main vaccine in Russia, and it is necessary to monitor the strains in order to understand how it will work against them,” concluded Isaev. “There is an opinion that due to mutations, the new Botswana strain has an effect of escaping immune protection. We are not yet able to evaluate the effectiveness on large samples, but the fact of infection of vaccinated diplomats in Botswana frightened experts. Research on the effectiveness of existing vaccines against the new strain will be carried out around the world under the auspices of the WHO In Russia, these studies are carried out by the Research Institute of Gamaleya. To carry them out, hundreds and thousands of cases of the new strain are needed – we do not have them yet. “


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