Coronaviruses are a group of respiratory viruses that can infect both humans and animals. In December 2019, cases of viral pneumonia with an unknown origin were verified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, signaling the start of a fresh (new) coronavirus outbreak. The virus was given the name Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 because of its resemblance to SARS-CoV. (SARS-CoV-2). COVID-19 – Coronavirus illness 2019 is the disease caused by this virus.
Viruses are continually changing due to mutation, and new variations are likely to emerge. Occasionally, new varieties appear and then vanish. New varieties emerge at other times. During this pandemic, multiple varieties of the virus that causes COVID-19 are being tracked around the world.
What You Need To Know
- Reduce the spread of infection by taking preventative steps, such as acquiring a COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available, to inhibit the creation of new variations.
- COVID-19 vaccines protect you from being ill, being hospitalized, or dying.
- Although all COVID-19 tests can detect all variants, they cannot tell you which one you have.
Variants of the COVID-19 Virus
Scientists keep track of all variants of the COVID-19 virus, but some may be classified as variants of interest, concern, or high consequence based on how quickly they spread, how severe their symptoms are, and how they’re handled.
Some variants appear to spread more easily and fast than others, potentially leading to an increase in COVID-19 instances. An rise in the number of cases will place further demand on healthcare resources, resulting in more hospitalizations and possibly more deaths.
COVID-19 in the Philippines
Based on the most recent whole-genome sequencing results, the Department of Health (DOH), the University of the Philippines – Philippine Genome Center (UP-PGC), and the University of the Philippines – National Institutes of Health (UP-NIH) report the discovery of four additional Delta (B.1.617.2) variant cases, 14 Alpha (B.1.1.7) variant cases, 21 Beta (B.1.351) variant cases, and one Theta (P.3) variant case.
It is now being determined whether the additional Theta variant case is a local or ROF case. The case has already been marked as having been recovered.
Because further research is needed to determine whether the Theta variant may have substantial public health effects, it is not currently designated as a variant of concern (VOC).
Despite the surge in cases in Visayas and Mindanao, the DOH, UP-PGC, and UP-NIH assure the public that biosurveillance activities for the detection of COVID-19 variants will continue.
Preventing the spread of COVID-19
Protect yourself and others from the spread of the variants of the COVID-19 virus by doing the following:
- Maintain proper hand hygiene. Hands should be washed with soap and water on a regular basis.
- Keep at least 2 meters (6 feet) away from somebody who is coughing or sneezing to avoid getting sick.
- Keep your hands away from your face.
- Sneeze and cough into your arm’s crook or a tissue.
- In public places, wear a mask.
- If you’re sick, stay at home.
- Stay at home and avoid close touch with others to practice physical distance.
- Do your best to boost your immune system.
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- DOH, UP-PGC, AND UP-NIH DETECT MORE COVID-19 VARIANTS; ASSURE CONTINUOUS COVID-19 BIOSURVEILLANCE ACTIVITIES
- What You Need to Know about Variants
- Philippines General Health Risks:
- Coronavirus COVID-19