Threat Levels for COVID Variants by CDC & WHO YouTube Lecture Handouts

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Variant of Interest, Variant of Concern & Variant of High Consequence: Threat Levels by CDC & WHO

Title: Threat Levels for COVID Variants by CDC & WHO

Threat Levels

Threat Levels
  • A variant of interest has caused discrete clusters of infections in the United States or in other countries, or seems to be driving a surge in cases. It also has gene changes that suggest it might be more contagious or that may help it to escape immunity from infection or vaccination. Therapeutics and tests may not work as well against it. The CDC is watching three of these.
  • A variant of concern has been proven through scientific research to be more contagious or to cause more severe disease. It may also reduce the effectiveness of therapeutics and vaccines. People who have previously had COVID-19 may become re-infected by the new strain. The CDC is tracking five of these.
  • A variant of high consequence causes more severe disease and greater numbers of hospitalizations. It has also been shown to defeat medical countermeasures, such as vaccines, antiviral drugs, and monoclonal antibodies. So far, none of the variants meets this definition.
  • Public Health England announced that it was investigating the emerging P3 variant, which was first detected in the Philippines.
  • New variant of B.1.111 with mutations on its spike protein. Those two mutations have helped other viruses escape antibodies created by the body in response to both vaccines and natural infection.
  • The B.1.1.7 variant is at least 50 % more contagious than the older versions of the virus. It has caused major COVID-19 surges in the United Kingdom, Israel, and Europe.

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