What is COVID-19?
Coronavirus, also called COVID-19, is a respiratory illness which has infected 128,000,000 people and have killed approximately 3,000,000 people worldwide. The number of infections in the United States has risen to 30,000,000 and 552,000 people have died as of March 27th 2021, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Research on COVID-19 is a new research area for scientist around the world as they continue to learn new facts about this new disease. Numerous basic questions need to be answered in order to control and cure COVID-19. People ages 65 and older and people who have severe underlying health conditions such as heart and lung disease or diabetes appear to develop more serious illness from COVID-19 infection.
According to Center for Disease Control (CDC) there are currently five variants in the United States:
B.1.1.7: First identified in the United States in December 2020.
B.1.351: First identified in the United States at the end of January 2021.
P.1: Detected in the United States in January 2021.
B.1.427 and B.1.429: These two variants were first identified in California in February 2021 and were classified as VOCs in March 2021.
These variants are 70% more contagious and deadly and have caused lockdown in the United Kingdom and France. Current reports suggest that antibodies generated through vaccination with currently authorized vaccines recognize these variants. Thorough compliance with public health mitigation strategies, such as vaccination, physical distancing, use of masks, hand hygiene, and isolation and quarantine, is essential to limit the spread of the new variants.