The African Centre for Genomics of Infectious Diseases at Osun State-based Redeemer’s University Nigeria has detected a total of 29 cases of the B.1.1.7 COVID-19 variant in Nigeria.
The B.1.1.7 COVID-19 variant was first discovered in the United Kingdom last year.
The researchers at the ACEGID at the RUN’s Ede campus who made this known via the centre’s Twitter handle @acegid said the UK strain of the virus was confirmed in Edo, Kwara, Lagos, Osun, and Oyo states.
They tweeted: “We have confirmed a total of 29 cases of the B.1.1.7 lineage of #Covid19 in five states of Nigeria (Edo, Kwara, Lagos, Osun, and Oyo) and Abuja.
“This lineage (first discovered in the UK) is able to infect people more readily, cause more severe illness and can lead to death.
“This is the time for Nigerians to take precautions!
“Take precautions, not just because of yourself, but for your loved ones. Avoid crowded places, use your face mask, wash your hands with soap regularly, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers, etc.”
See the tweet:
We have confirmed a total of 29 cases of the B.1.1.7 lineage of #Covid19 in five states of Nigeria (Edo, Kwara, Lagos, Osun and Oyo) and Abuja. This lineage (first discovered in the UK) is able to infect people more readily, cause more severe illness and can lead to death. pic.twitter.com/Jnr3jw6o1i
— ACEGID (@acegid) February 11, 2021
PUNCH HealthWise had earlier reported that an individual can be infected with two different strains of COVID-19 at the same time.
Speaking with our correspondent, a professor of Virology, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Prof. Sunday Omilabu, said it is possible that when an individual is exposed to COVID-19, he can be infected with two variants of the virus.
He said, “It’s not impossible that you have the wind blowing the viruses and the viruses will infect different cells. There are a lot of cells in the respiratory cells and the viruses have cells to infect if they are there.
“The only thing that will make you know is that it will increase the severity of that infection. So, a diagnosis needs to be carried out to establish that it is the virus that is causing it.”
Speaking further, Omilabu, who is also Director, Centre for Human and Zoonotic Virology, CMUL, expressed the need for more research and to monitor the variants in circulation everywhere because the virus is not stable.
“Anywhere the virus is, it has the chances of changing. We need to check our environment to know the one that is circulating. We need to do more sequencing but we don’t have the reagents for that and we have to send them abroad.
“We should be concerned about the mutation of the virus because it carries a lot of conditions; it has been seen with some of the variants that they are more transmissible than what we had in the first wave.
“That is the effect of mutation because they are protein that is changing and the protein is responsible for the transmissibility.
“You also have to look at the age prevalence which is between the younger ones and the older ones so there is no age difference like what we had in the first wave.
“So, there is a cause for concerns when dealing with variants,” he said.
A new study has shown that the coronavirus variant that has moved through the UK is now spreading through the United States.
The study posted on the preprint server MedRxiv is a collaboration of several researchers.
The authors led by Nicole L. Washington noted that by performing time-aware Bayesian phylodynamic analyses, “we revealed several independent introductions of B.1.1.7 into the U.S. as early as late November 2020, with onward community transmission enabling the variant to spread to at least 30 states as of January 2021.
“Our study shows that the U.S. is on a similar trajectory as other countries where B.1.1.7 rapidly became the dominant SARS-CoV-2 variant, requiring immediate and decisive action to minimize COVID-19 morbidity and mortality.”
The researchers said B.1.1.7 has an increased growth rate in the U.S. compared to non-B.1.1.7 lineages.
They predicted that B.1.1.7 could be the predominant strain by March.
“In this study, we show that B.1.1.7 is currently at a relatively low frequency in the U.S., but our estimates show that its growth rate is at least 35-45 percent increased and doubling every week and a half. These findings are consistent with those from other countries, and given the current trajectory of B.1.1.7 in the U.S., it is almost certainly destined to become the dominant SARS-CoV-2 lineage by March 2021 across many U.S. states, which is consistent with modeling analyses from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“However, obtaining accurate estimates of the prevalence of B.1.1.7 across the country is complicated by uneven and biased sampling, combined with a lack of a national SARS-CoV-2 genomics surveillance program, like those implemented in the U.K., Denmark, Australia, New Zealand, among other places. In the current study, we obtain relatively robust estimates from California and Florida, but our analyses outside these places are limited,” they said.
All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH.
The post 29 cases of UK COVID-19 variant found in Lagos, Kwara, three others appeared first on Healthwise.