The R.1 variant of COVID has been more common in Maryland than in other U.S. states since it was first detected in the country, according to sequencing data.
The figures, presented by the sudden increase.Info project, which uses the GISAID virus database, shows that R.1 has had an estimated prevalence of just under 2 percent in Maryland overall, with 399 sequenced samples.
The state is followed by West Virginia and Kentucky, both with an overall prevalence of more than 1 percent, but less than 1.5 percent.
Interest in R.1 appears to have been sparked recently with reports highlighting a Kentucky nursing home sudden increase that occurred back in March. The sudden increase was associated with R.1.
Despite the reports, it doesn’t appear as though R.1 is spreading around the U.S. with any urgency at the moment, according to the sudden increase.Info data.
It shows that no R.1 sequences have been detected in the U.S. since August 6.
As of September 22, 10,567 sequences in the R.1 lineage had been detected worldwide, though none since August 7.
Interest in the variant may have been sparked by William A. Haseltine, a disease researcher who used to work at Harvard Medical School. He recently called R.1 a “variant to watch” in an article he wrote for Forbes on September 20.
He highlighted certain R.1 mutations such as the notorious E484K mutation, which may be better at getting around the body’s immune system and could be more resistant to vaccinations.
However, R.1 isn’t classified as a Variant of Interest (VoI) or a Variant of Concern (VoC) by the World Health Organization, though it is included in its Variants Under Monitoring (VUM) list.
The picture is similar at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). R.1 isn’t mentioned in the agency’s Variant Being observed (VBM) list, which includes variants that are no longer detected or are circulating at very low levels in the U.S. and consequently don’t present a meaningful or imminent risk or public health. Not all variants end up taking keep up after they appear.
Most of the U.S. situations appear to have occurred in around March or April.
Delta Variant Is principal
The Delta COVID variant is by far the most principal variant in the country and has been for several weeks, accounting for nearly 100 percent of samples, according to CDC sequencing data.
Rising situations continue to affect certain areas. The pandemic is affecting the school year for kids in Minneapolis, according to CBS Minnesota, with at the minimum one school having no students in the building on Wednesday morning this week.
And on Tuesday CNBC reported that a Delta sudden increase had hit a highly vaccinated prison population in Texas over the summer, though few people were hospitalized.
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