By Spy Uganda
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has issued a terrifying coronavirus warning to billions of people around the globe as hundreds of countries around the world have been desperately fighting the pandemic for almost a year, which has killed more than 1.2 million people, infected nearly 53 million.
The biggest medical crisis in recent history has also forced nations into total lockdown, devastating fragile economies with the loss of tens of millions of jobs that have turned peoples’ lives upside down. But in the latest dire warning, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has warned countries not to pin their hopes on the rapid release of various vaccines currently in the latter stages of development.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has warned people around the globe who seem to have gotten tired of the virus and yet it’s still more deadly than before due to the levels of complacence that has developed over time.
This comes in as a new study revealing that the COVID-19 virus is mutating due to a combination of neutral drift and pressure from our immune systems.
A recent study involving more than 5,000 COVID-19 patients in Houston has found out that the virus that causes the disease is accumulating genetic mutations, one of which may have made it more contagious.
According to the paper published in the peer-reviewed journal mBIO, that mutation, called D614G, is located in the spike protein that pries open our cells for viral entry. It’s the largest peer-reviewed study of SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences in one metropolitan region of the US to date.
A study published in July based on more than 28,000 genome sequences found that variants carrying the D614G mutation became the globally dominant form of SARS-CoV-2 in about a month. SARS-CoV-2 is the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
However, According to the researchers, previous studies had provided conflicting accounts about whether people recovering quickly from the viral infection can sustain potentially-protective antibodies or not.
The results of the current study noted that these antibody “sustainers” had a shorter course of symptoms, suggesting that some individuals who recover from COVID-19 faster may be mounting a more effective and durable immune response to the virus.
In the research, the scientists recruited and enrolled 92 people in the Boston area in the US who had recovered from COVID-19 between March and June of 2020.
The researchers collected and analyzed blood samples monthly, measuring a range of antibodies, including immunoglobulin-G (IgG), against the novel coronavirus.
Last week, Kenyan Medical and Research Institute (KEMRI) in a statement revealed that Kemri-Welcome Trust announced that they have started trials for a vaccine called ChAdOx1 to-19. It is being done in Kilifi in collaboration with Oxford University.
So far, 40 frontline workers have been identified as participants, and 360 more will be recruited once the vaccine has been confirmed to be safe and effective
According to WHO, Vaccines that work in one population do not necessarily work in all populations. This has been witnessed in the case of vaccines against malaria, rotavirus, and Ebola. To ensure Kenyans can benefit from the vaccine if it proves to be successful, it is important to assess its performance among Kenyan volunteers.
Last month, WHO revealed that the much-awaited solidarity trial being done in over 30 countries, including Kenya and the Interim results from the Solidarity Therapeutics Trial indicate that the regimens appeared to have little or no effect on 28-day mortality or the in-hospital course of Covid-19 among hospitalized patients.