The more contagious, Brazilian variant P1 is poorly known, but gives rise to a number of concerns, which have prompted the French government to suspend flights from Brazil until further notice.
“These fears are justified, as the P1 variant is actually more contagious and has spread at a higher speed in Brazil, a vast country where the epidemic is completely out of control”, AFP Natalia Pastrnak, microbiologist and director of the Institute Questos de Sinesia, tells about (science questions).
The P1 emerged in the Manaus region of Amazon last December, but only for the first time in January as a new version was identified in Japan, among travelers living in these areas of northern Brazil.
It has also reached several countries in South America (Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Peru, Bolivia or Venezuela), but the United States, Canada, Germany, or France, even though it does not represent only 0.5% of new pollution Is metropolitan France.
Why is it more contagious?
Like the South African version, it carries the E484K mutation, which according to some studies, can cause more re-infection than other strains, as more antibodies are required to resist it.
It also has several deletions in the spike protein, through which the virus enters the cells to infect them.
“It’s like a bit. It’s a master key that manages to open multiple locks at the same time.”, Jessem Orellana, a researcher at the Institute of Fiocruz, told AFP.
“And from an epidemiological point of view, this version is more likely to destabilize areas where there is little control of the circulation of the virus, leading to the saturation of hospitals”. In January in poor areas such as Manaus due to a severe lack of oxygen.
“If the authorities were responsible, they would have covered Manaus, as China had done with Wuhan. Instead, we shifted patients to other states to relieve congestion in hospitals.” Despor Jesam Orellana.
Is it more dangerous?
No conclusive studies have yet been published to prove that the P1 variant is more lethal.
In preliminary studies, Jessem Orellana found that P1 did not increase the mortality rate of patients hospitalized in Manaus, in April 2020, compared to the peak of the first wave.
This is according to two studies published on Tuesday, which claimed that the “British” version of coronavirus did not cause more severe forms of Kovid-19.
According to him, if the cause of death in Brazil has exploded in recent weeks, it is due to the saturation of hospitals, “because this version is more contagious, but also due to population exemptions, which would have followed less restrictive measures.” is” .
Only recent good news about this variant: Preliminary studies have shown that the most commonly used sugar vaccine in Brazil is Coronavac, effective against P1, such as Pfizer and AstraZeneca, injected exclusively in France goes.
How widespread is it in Brazil?
The P1 variant already exists in the Brazilian region, even though nationally available data are insufficient to estimate its percentage in contamination.
“Unfortunately, Brazil’s health vigilance is the worst in the world in terms of sequencing, it is nothing that the P1 version is being discovered in Japan” Congratulations to Mr. Orellana.
And the unbridled circulation of the virus has given rise to other mutations, with the presence of other variants arising from the same strain, such as P2, specifically roaming in Rio de Janeiro (southeast), or P4 , Which was recently revealed in the territory of Belo Horizonte in the neighboring state of Minas Gerais.
For Jessem Orellana, “Brazil has become an open-air variant laboratory”.
To avoid the circulation of these variants, “The ideal would be that we could combine imprisonment and mass vaccination, as in the United Kingdom or Israel”., dit Natalia Pastrnak.
“But we neither lack the political will for prevention, and insufficient doses for vaccination”, He insists, points to a “lack of national coordination” on behalf of President Jair Bolsonaro’s government, which has continued to reduce the epidemic.
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