As CCP virus variants grow in number, scientists are increasingly concerned about whether vaccines will remain effective despite the new strains.
On March 12, southern China’s Guangdong Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the B.1.525 strain had been detected in two cases. This is the first time it has been discovered in the province.
B.1.525 was first found in late December in Nigeria but since then the new variant of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus has been found in 26 countries around the world, including the UK, Australia, Denmark, the United States, Canada, Italy, and most recently China.
According to the Guangdong CDC, the two cases were asymptomatic infections imported from abroad. The two infected people are currently under medical observation in the hospital.
The CDC said that it would continue to monitor the strain very closely and track the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines.
This is the third time this year that the provincial CDC has found a new strain of the CCP virus.
On Jan. 2, the center detected variant B.1.1.7 from a throat swab sample of a confirmed case imported from the UK, an 18-year-old male Chinese student.
On Jan. 6, the center isolated the 501Y.V2 strain from a throat swab sample of a case coming from South Africa, a 55-year-old airline pilot.
The new variant reportedly enhances the spread of the virus and could potentially lead to reinfection, the Guangdong CDC reported in its March 12 notice.
Similarly, Forbes reported on Feb. 24 that the B.1.525 mutation may increase transmissibility and virulence.
In February, Dr. Simon Clarke from the UK’s University of Reading told The Guardian, “We don’t yet know how well this [new Nigerian] variant will spread, but if it is successful it can be presumed that immunity from any vaccine or previous infection will be blunted.”
Arnaldo Caruso, president of the Italian Society for Virology, told ANSA: “For the first time we have managed to isolate the virus bearing these mutations which concern us because they could confer resistance to COVID vaccines today available.”
Public data shows that the B.1.525 variant carries a mutation called E484K in the spike protein that affects human immunity to the virus.