Identification Of A Novel Covid-19 Variant Cluster Isolated From Covid-19 Ill Infants In US Capital

The variants have caused us to reevaluate our strategies of control for the Covid-19 pandemic. Variants have now popped up from many parts of the world. They confer new and dangerous properties including increased transmission, the ability to evade the immune response elicited from previous infection or vaccination, and increased virulence and infection, especially in children. It is in this context that we describe a Washington DC variant (B.1.189) first identified from an outbreak in pediatric patients. B.1.189 differs from many other variants in that it carries a single, rather than multiple, mutation in the spike protein. Nonetheless, this single mutation appears to alter the virus properties in significant ways Variant B.1.189, detailed in a study by the Children’s National Hospital in Washington DC, was first identified in mid-October in an infected newborn displaying more aggressive symptoms than most other infected children. Not only was the newborn feverish, but when the doctors measured the viral load, it was over 50,000 times the median of other pediatric patients. This realization prompted greater genome sequencing of young patients in Children’s National Hospital, leading to several more cases of the variant identified. Read the full article on Forbes.
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