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What do we know about the new coronavirus strain in Australia?

What do we know about the new coronavirus strain in Australia?

The new coronavirus strain is a genetic mutation of the original Covid-19. This more infectious form of the virus was discovered in the UK and later a variant emerged in South Africa. The new dominant strain is spreading rapidly across countries in Europe, US, Japan and Africa. In Australia, a first case of the mutated South African variant was detected from a returning overseas traveller to Queensland and a second case came up in South Australia, both just before Christmas.

 

What are the characteristics of the new Covid-19 strain?

It has raised alarm as both strains emerged independently from each other, but they share the same characteristics. There is not a lot we know about this variant, but there are signs that both strains are up to 70% more transmissible, meaning more people will be infected by this virus. That is concerning.

 

Spread of new coronavirus_bettercaremarket

 

Where did the new strain come from?

The new strain called B.1.1.7 was originally detected in the Southeast of the UK and is said to be responsible for 60 – 70% of the new cases. The South African variant was the cause of a surge in infections across the country.

 

What makes this new Covid-19 strain different?

Mutations appear regularly and thousands new strains have been reported around the world since the original strain in Wuhan. The difference and reason for concern is that the British and South African variant are not characterised by 1 or 2 mutations but by 20!

 

Woman with face mask to protect from covid_bettercaremarket

 

One specific mutation both the UK and South African variant have in common, is a higher binding affinity to the cell-access-receptor, making it easier for the virus to enter a human cell. The spike protein that the coronavirus uses to infect the human cell, is the signature of this specific variant.

 

Is the new variant more dangerous?

Experts believe this Covid-variant is not more deadly than other strains of the virus, but it appears to accelerate the spread. Scientists at the Imperial College in London estimate that the new strain in the UK tripled the number of infections during England’s lockdown in November, while new cases by the ‘existing’ coronavirus variant decreased by 30%. This happened even with the high levels of social distancing during November and December.

 

Coronavirus image_bettercaremarket

Additionally, while the existing variant posed little or no danger to children, experts warn that this virus makes children equally susceptible as adults.

The emergence of the of the new Covid-19 strain prompted over 50 countries around the world to impose travel restrictions on residents from both South-Africa and Britain.

 

 

What are the symptoms of the new Covid-19 strain?

Many of the symptoms of the new variant are more or less identical to the original Covid-strain. The new mutant has the potential to spread more widely, at a greater pace.

 

Woman with breathing problems_bettercaremarket

If you have any of these symptoms, get tested or seek immediate medical attention.  

-       Breathing problems

-       Confusion

-       Persistent chest pain

-       Extremely tired, almost unable to stay awake

 

 

Will the Covid-vaccine work against the new coronavirus variant?
The good news is that early evidence suggests that the new strain is very unlikely to change the efficacy of the vaccine. While both the Pfizer/BioNtech and the Astra Zeneca-Oxford vaccines are been rolled out in several parts of the world, scientists and medical researchers are continuously monitoring the effects on individuals.

 

Covid vaccine_bettercaremarket

 

 

In the UK and South Africa, the governments will have to accelerate the roll-out of the vaccines if they want to contain the new Covid-19 strain.

The rollout in Australia is planned for March 2021. The Government has made a deal with the Pfizer/BioNtech, the Astra Zeneca-Oxford, Novavax and the University of Queensland.

 

With now two cases discovered in Australia, the Queensland Health Minister Yvette D’Ath reinforced that everyone coming from overseas needs to undergo quarantine for 14 days in a hotel or hospital. All ‘positive’ cases are being transferred to an infectious disease ward at the hospital to keep the quarantine hotels as safe as possible.

 

3 people with protective face mask_bettercaremarket

 

Safety measures

Make sure to comply with the recommended safety measures: wear a face mask, wash your hands frequently (or use a hand sanitiser when you don’t have access to soap and water) and keep to social distancing to prevent transmission of the new strain.

 

Our Protective Copper - Filter Face Mask by Dr. Hoffmann will keep you and others safe safe from viruses and bacteria. The patented copper filter - made in Germany - neutralises the harmful particles in the air.

This 3 layers mask is reusable and washable; a great environmentally friendly and cost effective alternative to surgical masks. This sustainable face mask can be used for at least 2 months on a continuous base. After that, you can replace the copper mesh filter with our replacement set with another 4 copper filters.

 

Perfect fit of Dr Hoffmann Washable Copper Filter Face Mask_bettercaremarket

Our Australian-made antibacterial hand sanitiser is manufactured according the WHO guidelines and complies to the Australian standards. 

 

Antibacterial hand sanitiser_bettercaremarket

With its gel consistency, our hand sanitiser easily coats your hands. It has a quick drying formula, with a 70% alcohol content, leaving your hands crisp and fresh whilst killing 99.9% of germs and bacteria on your hand in seconds. The lemon-myrtle oil will moisturise your hands at the same time.