New York state’s homegrown COVID-19 strain is listed as a “variant of curiosity” relatively than a “variant of concern” — however that doesn’t essentially imply it’s much less harmful than different strains, the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention stated Friday.
The so-called B.1.526 variant obtained the classification as a result of scientists are nonetheless scrambling to review it and easily don’t but know sufficient about it, CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky stated at a White Home press briefing.
“I wish to be clear that itemizing a variant as one of curiosity relatively than a variant concern doesn’t imply we aren’t prioritizing the variant or that the variant is just not vital for us to rigorously comply with,” she stated. “Quite, it signifies that we’re nonetheless working to know the variant, collect information on it and decide its affect.”
The contagiousness of the New York strain — which incorporates a mutation much like the South African variant — remains to be being studied, she stated.
“Within the case of [the New York variant], we proceed to evaluate its prevalence regionally and nationally, its transmissibility and to conduct research to know how its mutations affect therapeutic and antibody responses. Till these assessments are full, it should stay a rigorously adopted variant of curiosity,” she stated.
Final month, the previous head of the Meals and Drug Administration stated the New York strain could also be infecting individuals who have already had the virus, and even been vaccinated.
“What we don’t perceive with 1.526 is whether or not or not individuals are being reinfected with it and whether or not or not individuals who might need been vaccinated are actually getting contaminated with it,” stated Dr. Scott Gottlieb.