UK #coronavirus variant B.1.1.7 may not have evolved spontaneously in the UK or within human populations

“Here we analyzed 454,443 SARS-CoV-2 spike genes/proteins and 14,427 whole-genome sequences. We demonstrated that the early variant B.1.1.7 may not have evolved spontaneously in the United Kingdom or within human populations. Our extensive analyses suggested that Canidae, Mustelidae or Felidae, especially the Canidae family (for example, dog) could be a possible host of the direct progenitor of variant B.1.1.7.”

Biorxiv preprint: Potential transmission chains of variant B.1.1.7 and co-mutations of SARS-CoV-2

 

 

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India: Doctors discuss the diagnosis and treatment of B.1.617 double mutant #coronavirus patients

“Death of fully vaccinated people”, “Increased incidence of reinfections”,  “Very infectious. Almost all near contacts are positive if traced”, “RT-PCR reports are 67-70% positive and RAT around 89%”, “RT-PCR was positive around 60% of cases”

Dr Nishith Kumar, Pulmonologist, Ranchi
I have seen 100s of cases where the patient is maintaining normal oxygen saturation & more than 2-40% lung is affected on CT scan

Dr T Rekha, MD med, Kolkata
So far, in the admitted cases, most of the age groups are between 30-40
One whole family (4 members) admitted post vaccination following 1st dose vaccination
RT-PCR was positive around 60% of cases

Dr Bijay Patni, Bhagaipur
D-Dimer is found to be elevated in most cases
Very infectious. Almost all near contacts are positive if traced

Dr Rajkamal Chaudhary, Delhi
Age group 1yrs to 30yrs
RT-PCR reports are 67-70% positive and RAT around 89%

Dr H Sharan, Ranchi
Recent samples (~300) showed B.1.617 in 30% of samples
Increased incidence of reinfections
Death of fully vaccinated people
HRCt chest should be advised to all

CMEIndia.in discussions  Please read the entire article here

 

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Brazil: First confirmed death from #coronavirus REINFECTION reported

A 39-year-old Brazilian man who died of COVID-19 last month was suffering from a second bout of the illness, researchers said on Tuesday, making it the country’s first confirmed death from coronavirus reinfection. Both episodes involved variants with the E484K mutation.

The man, from Campo Bom in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, had a history of chronic cardiovascular disease and diabetes. He first tested positive on November 30 but details about his symptoms – if any – are unclear. Genomic sequencing revealed the P.1 variant.

The patient fell ill a second time about 3 months later and tested positive on March 11, according to researchers at Feevale University. His initial symptoms were fatigue and respiratory distress, but his condition worsened and he was transferred to the ICU, where he was intubated and died on March 19.

Genomic sequencing of the sample from the second episode revealed the P.2 variant, which is classified as a Variant of Interest.

 

 

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Bioaerosols generated in public toilets may pose a concern for the transmission of #coronavirus COVID-19

To quantify the extent of aerosolization, we measure the size and number of droplets generated by flushing toilets and urinals in a public restroom. The results indicate that the particular designs tested in the study generate a large number of droplets in the size range 0.3μm3μm, which can reach heights of at least 1.52 m. Covering the toilet reduced aerosol levels but did not eliminate them completely, suggesting that aerosolized droplets escaped through small gaps between the cover and the seat.

aip.scitation.org report : Aerosol generation in public restrooms

 

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SARS-CoV-2 #coronavirus spike protein gene variants with N501T and G142D mutation dominated infections in US minks

We analyzed all animal-derived (977), all Canadian (19,529) and US (173,277) SARS-CoV-2 sequences deposited in GISAID from December 2019 to March 12, 2021, and identified 2 dominant novel variants, the N501T-G142D variant and N501T-G142D-F486L variant, in the US mink-derived SARS-CoV-2 sequences. These variants were not found in mink-derived SARS-CoV-2 spike protein gene sequences from other countries. The Y453F mutation was not identified in the US and Canadian mink-derive sequences.

Medrxiv preprint

 

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Hong Kong: 51 #coronavirus infections on single flight from India

A genetic study of viral samples from infected passengers on a flight into Hong Kong later found to have a record number of Covid-19 cases will be undertaken to determine whether in-flight transmission or quarantine facilities were to blame, with implications on tighter protocols required to contain such spikes.

The University of Hong Kong (HKU) will be conducting genome sequencing on the 51 passengers of Vistara flight UK6395 from New Delhi on April 4, while a review of official data showed 22 of them, or around 43 per cent, were only confirmed to have had the infection during their hotel quarantine on the 15th day of their arrival

SCMP.com report

 

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Hong Kong: #coronavirus transmission linked to quarantine hotel door hooks used for meal deliveries

Hong Kong’s first community infection of a mutant Covid-19 strain involved the South African variant, officials revealed on Tuesday, with transmission likely to have taken place at a quarantine hotel via door hooks used by staff to deliver meal boxes to guests.

Experts found no problems with the hotel’s ventilation and drainage systems, the focus turned to S-shaped door hooks used by employees to hang meal boxes for self-isolating guests, who would later put them back there. ‘The virus could have been exchanged through contact with the hooks, which were “hard to clean”.’

SCMP.com report

 

 

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India: B.1.617 now at 61% of #coronavirus genome samples in Maharashtra – was ~20% just one month ago

The National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune, has shared data with laboratories in Maharashtra showing that of 361 Covid-19 samples taken in Maharashtra from January to March and genome sequenced, 61% or 220 had the double mutation E484Q and L452R, now classified as B.1.617 lineage.

On March 24, the Central government had announced the detection of a double mutant variant in “15-20% samples in Maharashtra” but did not link the variant with the second surge in the state.

IndianExpress.com report

 

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India: New Indian #coronavirus variant B.1.618 with added E484K

E484K has been found in a new Sars-Cov-2 variant labelled as B.1.618, which has been reported in West Bengal, India.

Data submitted from India to the global repository GISAID shows the B.1.618, at 12%, is the third most common variant sequenced in the last 60 days. The B.1.617, at 28%, is the most common among sequences, followed by B.1.1.7 (the UK variant), the India Mutation Report by Scripps Research showed, citing the GISAID data

Hindustan Times report

 

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New Zealand: fully vaccinated airport worker tests positive for #coronavirus

The Auckland Airport worker who has tested positive for Covid-19 cleans planes from high risk Covid-19 ‘red-zone countries’, and had been fully vaccinated, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. They were fully vaccinated early on in the campaign and were last tested on 12 and 19 April, she said. Yesterday’s test returned a positive result today.

“The reason this person was part of our surveillance testing was because they were working in an area we consider to be high-risk. They are coming in contact with the planes that are carrying passengers from high risk countries and so that is a place where our workers, they are in the kinds of roles that means they need to be tested, they need to be vaccinated, but they also need to be thanked for the jobs that they do because of the risk that it carries.”

RNZ.co.nz report

 

 

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Ireland: 24 cases of P.1, 55 cases of B.1.351 and 3 cases of B.1.617 reported

Director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory Dr Cillian de Gascun said that there have been three cases of the recent variant [B.1.617] first identified in India. Dr De Gascun said at least two of them are associated with travel. He said NPHET does not have any data to determine whether the variant is more transmissible or not, but said at this stage people need to remain vigilant and try to contain it locally.  Separately, 24 cases of the P.1 variant, which was first found in Brazil, have so far been confirmed in Ireland, while 55 cases of B.1.351 South African variant have also been confirmed.

RTE.ie report

 

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SARS-CoV-2 #coronavirus variants from mink evade inhibition by antibodies

“Our results show that one of two antibodies from an antibody cocktail used for COVID-19 therapy no longer efficiently inhibits the viral variant with the Y453F mutation. Furthermore, our study demonstrates that the Y453F mutation reduces inhibition of the virus by antibodies produced by COVID-19 patients. This means that people who were infected with SARS-CoV-2 may have reduced protection against mink variants of the virus,” says Markus Hoffmann

ScienceDaily.com report

 

 

USA: small study shows 17% of household cats and dogs had detectable #coronavirus sars-cov-2 neutralizing antibodies

We enrolled 37 dogs and 19 cats from 34 of 41 eligible households. All oropharyngeal, nasal, and rectal swabs tested negative by rRT-PCR; one dog’s fur swabs (2%) tested positive by rRT-PCR at the first animal sampling. Among 47 pets with serological results from 30 households, eight (17%) pets (4 dogs, 4 cats) from 6 (20%) households had detectable SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies.

Biorxiv preprint One Health Investigation of SARS-CoV-2 Infection and Seropositivity among Pets in Households with Confirmed Human COVID-19 Cases — Utah and Wisconsin, 2020

 

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India: Gujurat doctors seeing an increasing number of #coronavirus cases where patients have negative RT-PCR tests but CT scans reveal significant infection in the lungs

The medical fraternity in Gujarat have come across an increasing number of cases where patients test negative in RT-PCR report but a high-resolution CT (HRCT) reveals significant infection in the lungs.

Vadodara Municipal Corporation has issued a notification stating that “the new strain of (novel) coronavirus [B.1.617] is highly contagious and the virus does not necessarily show a positive test on RT-PCR. In cases where RT-PCR is negative but findings in HRCT and lab investigations are suggestive of viral etiology, the claim should be treated as that of Covid unless proved otherwise,” states VMC’s order issued under the Epidemic Act.

According to Infectious disease specialist Dr Hiten Kareliya,”Covid-19 suspects should undergo RT-PCR tests and HRCT chest early instead of earlier practice where a patient would be asked to undergo CT scan only a couple of days after the test.

“We are seeing many cases where the patient has no symptoms or just mild fever and weakness but the infection spread to lungs rapidly,” he further said.

OneIndia.com report

 

 

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