South African coronavirus strain lands in USA, third wave is imminent

A new coronavirus strain, which was first found in South Africa has been identified in the USA for the first time, kjrh.com website reports.

Two cases of the infection with the South African strain have been reported in South Carolina, officials with the department of health and environmental control said.

A tested sample was determined to be the B.1.351 coronavirus strain, which was originally identified in South Africa. Both cases were identified in adults.

It is worthy of note that other new strains of the virus from the UK and Brazil, which are believed to have higher morbidity and lethality, have also been confirmed in the United States.

Experts believe that the appearance and the spread of the new strains of SARS-CoV-2 will trigger the beginning of the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic. Russia is expecting a further decline in the incidence in February and March, but this will happen only if the new strains of COVID-19 known as British, South African and Brazilian strains, which spread faster, do not appear in Russia. If they do, Russia will see the third wave of the pandemic.

Vadim Pokrovsky, a virologist, Doctor of Medical Sciences, does not agree with the above-mentioned conclusions. According to him, there is no clear data on the greater infectivity of the new strains. It remains highly important to comply with all sanitary measures.

"The new strains of the virus are believed to be more infectious than previously existing ones. Yet,  there is no convincing evidence of their higher infectivity. Therefore, when they say that they begin to spread rapidly, they spread panic. Prevention measures against all these new strains are the same. Easing conventional anti-epidemic measures may lead to a new rise in morbidity. The current decrease in the incidence rate is due to the fact that authorities very persistently urged all citizens to wear masks, to keep their distance, and this has indeed been observed over the past months," the expert noted.