The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) reported that three new variants of the Sars-CoV-2 virus were found in 14 countries in the Americas, including Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Peru. According to the epidemiological bulletin, the concern now is about the possible further spread of COVID-19 and the severity of the cases.
The PAHO bulletin says that it has been documented that people infected with the VOC 202012/01 variant, found in the United Kingdom, have an increased risk of dying; and that preliminary studies indicate that the 501Y.V2 variant, found in South Africa, is associated with a higher viral load, which may indicate greater transmissibility.
The third variant, P.1, is the one identified in Brazil, in the state of Amazonas. According to the bulletin, the variant may affect the transmissibility and the immune response of the infected person.
Sylvain Aldighieri, PAHO’s manager, explained that virus mutations are natural and that, therefore, the authorities in each country must strengthen measures to control and monitor the disease to reduce transmission.
The countries in which variants of the new coronavirus were found are: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Cuba, Ecuador, United States of America, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Dominican Republic, Santa Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago.