The newest, most contagious strain of coronavirus, AY.4.2, recently identified in Europe, has now been found in the United States and Israel. There is a risk that this particular mutation could trigger another wave of the pandemic. How did the strain overcome thousands of kilometers and sanitary barriers? And what are infectious disease specialists going to do now?
Despite the fact that Ben-Gurion International Airport operates at a quarter of its strength, it is the arrival zone that remains the gate through which dangerous strains of coronavirus enter the country. Moldova, is sick with a new modification of the “delta” AY.4.2 discovered earlier in Britain. The child and his parents were isolated. The Ministry of Health launched an epidemiological investigation protocol, trying to find out who the family was in contact with on the plane and at the airport, having convened an urgent meeting of experts to develop tactics for dealing with the new scourge.
Experts are trying to understand how severe the disease is caused by the “delta” mutation. Although it is already clear today that it is at least 10-15 percent more infectious. “If preliminary evidence is confirmed, AY.4.2 could be the most contagious strain of coronavirus since the start of the pandemic,” said Professor François Ballou of University College London.
The situation is being closely monitored in the world. The mutation is being studied in laboratories, discussed at government meetings and on the air of national television channels.
As experts in the Financial Times explained, the prevalence of the “delta” is growing rapidly, but not as much as the first strain after its penetration from India into the UK at the beginning of the year.
The main issue of concern to both doctors and patients is the question of the resistance of the new mutation to the current vaccines.
Cases of AY.4.2 infection are already being reported in the United States, but medical authorities are in no hurry to sound the alarm. Israeli researchers are also rather optimistic. The third Pfizer vaccination, the so-called booster, according to the Ichilov Clinical Center, raises the immunity that has fallen in six months almost fifty times.
Russian specialists are also joining in the study of the properties of the “delta” variant on the assumption that a vaccinated patient, even if infected with AY.4.2, will carry the disease much easier than an opponent of vaccination.
“I think the next two to three to four weeks will show us what this particular strain is or is not capable of. So far it is not really very common in Britain. , already stands, “commented Pavel Volchkov, head of the MIPT genomic engineering laboratory.
In Israel, last spring is remembered with dismay. The “delta” that came from India then turned into the fourth, most massive wave of the epidemic. Local virologists reported that since the appearance of the “delta”, 56 mutations have already appeared, for which no better method has yet been invented, except for mass vaccination.