South African variant raises new concerns
SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is having a major impact on human health globally after it was first discovered in China. Most of the reported variants are insignificant however several have emerged that are more infectious than the original COVID-19. Variants (which are mutations) can even be harmful to the virus itself but some can be more threating and/or infectious as reported in the UK’s variant. The new variants appeared first in the UK where it was reported the incidence of infection was abnormally higher than other areas in the country. This caught epidemiologist attention and after testing it was discovered this was a new variant which appears by all accounts to be as much as 30-50% more infectious which has driven the latest lockdowns in the country. Professor Sharon Peacock, director of the Covid-19 Genomics UK Consortium, stated the Brazilian variant was troubling because it shared mutation N501 with the UK variant, which is believed to have increased transmissibility between 50 and 77 per cent. This specific variant has now spread globally to over 50 countries.
It’s not unexpected that new variants of COVID have started to emerge around the world. After all, this is how all viruses work, they evolve and make new copies of themselves to spread and thrive.
The South African variant which emerged in October has shown to potentially more changes in the ‘spike protein’ than the UK variant. Scientists believe this may interfere more with the vaccine effectiveness and with the variations in the spike protein, it could help evade parts of the immune system called antibodies which are key in fighting the virus and scientists think may interfere more with vaccine effectiveness. New variants require further investigation whether there is an added risk of re-infection in previously exposed individuals. Britain has now banned arrivals from South American countries and Portugal because of concerns over a new Brazilian variant of the coronavirus to keep the variant from spreading.
Indoor safety protective solutions still must be utilized
With growing concerns over the new variants it is still very important to continue social distancing and wearing a mask in public. Furthermore, commercial businesses should implement contact tracing strategies and other types of technology systems which can ‘scrub’ indoor air.
Upper-Air Cleaners Effective in Removing Bioaerosols and microorganisms
This is where our upper air recessed purifier comes in. Studies have shown in-room air cleaners (ACs) and upper-room air ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) systems are proven technologies that can help reduce the concentrations of airborne pathogens. Our upper-room ultraviolent germicidal irradiation system works constantly to draw in surrounding room air and clean it. This helps ensure air is cleaned to prevent aerosolized droplets which might contain COVID are reduced or completely neutralized.