The new strain of the virus known as B117 is spreading fast around the world according to the US Center of Disease Control (CDC) and is according to the Ministry of Health and Prevention already in UAE.
According to our treating physicians the virus is spreading and has different characteristics than the old virus:
The major changes in the clinical picture that were noticed by our doctors include the following:
- More typical flu-like symptoms with sneezing and runny nose, which makes it hard to believe they are cooking pneumonia.
- We can see productive cough with bronchitis-like symptoms in many cases, which we did not see in the old strain. Maybe this is potentiating some secondary bacterial infection.
- Children and adolescents are now included in the target group with high fever, abdominal pain, and pneumonia.
- The new strain of the virus can spread so fast that even 10 minutes of unprotected contact especially in-doors can spread the disease.
- When infection occurs, it starts with minimal symptoms deceiving the patient into thinking it is nothing serious, while the patient is spreading the virus and lung damage is progressing with little symptoms until the sudden and acute symptoms start around the 7th or 8th day after infection.
The new strain is causing more severe lung damage and pulmonary embolism, even in young and healthy.
The real challenge is the high rate of false-negative swab results as the PCR test is designed to detect the old strain of the virus.
Pfizer vaccine is especially designed to fight the spike protein, which has already mutated. Governments and manufacturers are counting on cross-immunity promising to provide new vaccine in six weeks if the old one did not work. On the other hand, the Chinese vaccine may have better chances, but new concerns have surfaced regarding its reduced efficiency.
Biontech CEO (Pfizer vaccine developer), Ugur Sahin, stated: “Scientifically, it is highly likely that the immune response by this vaccine also can deal with the new virus variant.” But if needed, “in principle the beauty of the messenger technology (mRNA) is that we can directly start to engineer a vaccine which completely mimics this new mutation. We could be able to provide a new vaccine technically within six weeks.”
Sahin said the variant detected in Britain has nine mutations, rather than just one as is usually common.
In another related development, the director of the Center of Disease Control, Dr Anthony Fauci, announced that the Pfizer vaccine is most likely safe even for pregnant and breastfeeding women and that the CDC shall initiate clinical studies in the USA ahead of FDA approval. He proceeded to say that it has never been reported in the history of vaccines that any serious side effects appeared after a period of more than 4 months after vaccination.
Dr Mazen Sawaf (Dr Max)
Anesthesia and Intensive care
Founder and CEO, Novomed Centers and Hospitals
Copyrighted material for Dr Max. Jan 15, 2021