The number of people infected with the coronavirus strains is increasing in Massachusetts, and area experts warn that rapid action is needed to prevent a growing infection.
Of particular concern is Increased in case of variable P.1It was first detected in Brazil. Massachusetts is one of the states with the highest number of cases (82), only behind Florida (84), according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
At least 50 from P.1 patients in Massachusetts. Be detected in Barnstable County..
On Wednesday, the state identified 977 cases of variable B.1.1.7, the first detected in the UK, and 12 of the variant B.1.351, the first in South Africa, according to the CDC. A new one from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard reveals that less than a month from the first detected P.1 case in Massachusetts, the strain spreads faster than other Bay State virus strains.
Looking more broadly at the trend of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, which has seen an increase in hospitalization cases and positive percentages, Samuel Scarpino, an assistant professor in the Network Science Institute at Northeastern University and The director of the Emergent Epidemics Lab said he was concerned. Regarding where the state is, he worries that the state is headed for a potential stream before it reaches the necessary level of safety through vaccination and warmer weather benefits, which is why he and the people. Other have Warned against rapid reopening plans for Massachusetts..
Epidemiologists say the cause of the increase in Massachusetts patients is not necessarily the P.1 variant, but it is likely that the B.1.1.7 strain will drive the increase.
“It will have to have a higher level of vaccination coverage to get any herd immunity, and also means it will spread faster than we’ve seen,” Scarpino told Boston.com.
The challenge in Massachusetts and most of the United States to face when it comes to this strain is the lack of systematic surveillance for the virus strain. So when looking at the group of cases identified on Cape, the question remains whether Massachusetts has the highest level of variable P.1, or whether the state has just caught it first.
Ultimately, what’s important is what happens next, Scarpino said.
“The response has to be quite aggressive,” he said. Biogen diffusion events How does one incident lead to 50, 60 cases then turn into 500, 1,000 and tens of thousands of cases? That is the real concern. It doesn’t matter if we get the most or not. But as we’ve found, we now have the opportunity to intervene in public health measures – test, monitor, isolate, limit indoor gatherings, etc. – to try to prevent this from becoming a big wave. ”
Researchers are still actively investigating what the possible effects are from the P.1 variant, Scarapino said, but so far, laboratory studies have suggested that the vaccine was not as effective. In addition, there is peer-reviewed research that suggests the strain is more infectious than the B.1.1.7 strain, he said.
“For me, the take-home message has not been resolved,” the epidemiologist said, “but the signs indicate that this is a very relevant variable that we should focus on and do everything we can to prevent it from spreading.”
As for the B.1.1.7 variant, as it is prevalent in many areas, there have been some studies indicating that the COVID-19 vaccine is as effective as the strains compared to previous versions of. The virus means that the vaccinated person remains “relatively safe,” said Scarpino. But people can still become infected even if they have been vaccinated and could transmit it to others, meaning each person should continue to consider the health and vaccination status of their households.
With variables such as B.1.1.7 and P.1, it is important for unvaccinated people to keep in mind that activities that may have been previously safe are few as people may have a late infection. This species can grow, epidemiologists say People should be more aware of wearing masks about ventilating the area they visit and trying to keep indoor gatherings outside of your bubble. “As little as possible”
“The current COVID rate is in mid-November,” said Scarpino. “That means the risk was high before we had a variable here, and now it was much higher due to the fact that these. [variants] Can convey more. “
While the Northeastern professor said he thinks urgent action should be taken to deal with the growing variant in Massachusetts, he suspects officials will not walk back, the decision to reopen. state
That fact is unfortunate because when it comes to the plague, the show Early is always better than slow acting, Scarpino said. That’s why he and others disagree with the way Massachusetts reopens.
“Part of the reason we’ve been busy for a year is because we wait until it’s too late and we’ll do something,” he said. Limiting those gatherings, I think we need to do everything we can to speed up the vaccination period safely and effectively. “
Massachusetts is Behind the neighbor In opening immunization eligibility for individuals 16 years or older, residents under the age of 55 who have not yet received vaccine priorities are allowed to begin imaging from the 19th. April, unlike the surrounding states, which has already opened access to that group.
Doing so is critical, according to Scarpino, as Massachusetts is seeing a large number of cases in the younger age group right now. The professor said he hoped Gov. Charlie Baker and his administration “looked difficult” to delay eligibility.
“We are a little closer to something that seems a little more ordinary. But we’re not there yet, ”he said,“ and the more seriously we take this measure, the quicker and safer we can get out of it. So, if people refrain from indoor socializing, if they have the discretion to spend time indoors with someone out of the bubble, they are prudent and careful when wearing a high-filter mask, double masking will. Get We get out of this faster. “
It is also important that anyone attending weekend rallies should be tested for COVID-19 as soon as possible to avoid spreading the virus to others.
This is important to prevent re-occurrences of holiday power surges that such threats have. But it gets worse with more strains, Scarpino said.
“We need to take these variables unbelievably more seriously than we are doing right now,” he said, “or we risk going back to normal. And personally, I find it sad and unacceptable because we are so close. We really need a few more weeks to be cautious and prudent in our indoor gatherings as we are getting more and more vaccines. ”
There was a light at the end of the tunnel, Scarpino said. The length of the tunnel depends on the actions of individuals and officials for the next month.
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