As coronavirus variants unfold, the US struggles to maintain up



Enlarge (credit score: Bing Guan | Bloomberg | Getty Photographs)
Throughout the US, the coronavirus is in retreat. The pandemic continues to be raging, thoughts you, with greater than 70,000 new circumstances nonetheless reported every day. However because the post-holiday peak in mid-January, the seven-day common of latest circumstances has fallen by practically 64 %. Hospitalizations have plunged too. And with vaccinations accelerating, there’s a glimmer of hope that this downward pattern could be the beginning of Covid’s lengthy slide towards containment, at the least within the US and different rich international locations which are hogging the pictures.
However retreat doesn’t at all times imply defeat. And the emergence of a number of worrisome new coronavirus variants with new methods for spreading sooner or evading immune responses presents one other chance: that the present reprieve will solely be momentary. Public well being specialists are urging governments to organize for a attainable new wave of infections pushed by variants like B.1.1.7, which has already been recognized in additional than 1,200 US circumstances and in practically each state, in response to information from the US Facilities for Illness Prevention and Management.
That’s greater than double the quantity reported two weeks earlier. However the true quantity is probably going far increased. How a lot increased? Nobody is aware of. That’s as a result of the one technique to inform which model of the coronavirus is inflicting an an infection is to sequence its genome. On this nation, that needs to be simple sufficient—the US is a sequencing superpower. It has dozens of educational establishments and large business labs with the capability to crank out genomes at a speedy clip. However the federal authorities’s response by way of a lot of the pandemic didn’t embody a plan to mobilize America’s DNA-mappers right into a coordinated coronavirus-monitoring corps. SARS-CoV-2 surveillance, properly, sucked.Learn 24 remaining paragraphs | Feedback



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