COVID-19 | AP strain at least 15 times more virulent

The new variant has a shorter incubation period and the disease progresses very quickly

While it’s too early to tell if the new variant of coronavirus discovered by CCMB (Center for Cell and Molecular Biology) N440K is wreaking havoc in Visakhapatnam and other parts of the state, experts say it is the new predominant variant It is known as the AP strain, as it was first discovered in Kurnool, and is at least 15 times more virulent than the earlier and possibly even stronger than the Indian variants of B1.617 and B1.618.

“We have yet to determine which strain is currently in circulation as samples have been sent to CCMB for analysis. One thing is certain, however, that the variant currently in circulation in Visakhapatnam is very different from the one we saw during the first wave last year, ”said district collector V. Vinay Chand, who was updated by senior health care practitioners department .

The district COVID special envoy and director of Andhra Medical College PV Sudhakar confirmed the increased effectiveness of the virus and said: “We have observed that the new variant has a shorter incubation period and the disease progresses very quickly. In the earlier cases, it would take a patient affected by the virus at least a week to reach the stage of hypoxia or dyspnoea. In the present context, however, patients reach the stage of serious illness within three or four days. And that’s why there is a lot of pressure on beds with oxygen beds or intensive care beds, ”he said.

Experts also point out that, unlike the first wave, a shorter exposure is enough to acquire the virus, allowing an infected person to infect four to five people within a shorter contact span.

“Essentially no one is spared as we have found this to affect the younger population in a big way, including those who are fitness freaks and have high levels of immunity. The cytokine storm is also observed to occur more quickly and some respond to treatment and others not, ”said Dr. Sudhakar.

According to experts, the conclusion is: This variant is highly unpredictable.

The best way to keep it at bay is to follow COVID-appropriate behavior, wear a good mask, stay away from gatherings, sanitize your hands regularly, and stay home as much as possible, Hema said Prakash, Senior Microbiologist at GITAM Institute for Medical Sciences and Research.

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