- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is a national public health institute in the United States.
- It is a United States federal agency, under the Department of Health and Human Services, and is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.
- Its main goal is to protect public health and safety through the control and prevention of disease, injury, and disability in the US and internationally.
What has happened?
- The spread of highly contagious coronavirus variants is threatening to fuel a “potential fourth surge of cases” in the US, a top health official Dr Rochelle Walensky has warned.
- The head of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said she was concerned by recent Covid-19 data.
- She said about 70,000 new cases a day were recorded last week, “a very high number”.
- There were nearly 2,000 deaths a day in same period.
- “Please hear me clearly: At this level of cases, with variants spreading, we stand to completely lose the hard-earned ground we have gained,“ Dr Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, said on Monday.
Are all variants threat?
- “These variants are a very real threat to our people and our progress.“
- There are many different versions, or variants, of Covid-19 circulating, but health experts are particularly concerned about a few.
- These include variants first detected in UK, South Africa and Brazil that appear to be more contagious.
- Given this, Dr Walensky said she was “really worried” about reports of US states “rolling back the exact public health measures we have recommended to protect people from Covid-19″.
- “We have the ability to stop a potential fourth surge of cases in this country.
- In total, the US has recorded more than 28 million infections and 500,000 deaths related to Covid-19, according to World Health Organization (WHO) data.
New variants in US
- More than 2,463 infections involving variants of concern have been reported, according to CDC data.
- Most of those cases – at least 2,400 – are of the UK variant.
- The true number of people infected by variants in the US is thought to be higher.
- Scientists believe current vaccines do offer protection against variants as well.
- But the CDC says, until more people are vaccinated, variants could drive a spike in cases, threatening health systems already under strain.
About the 3 variants
- A UK or Kent variant (also known as 1.1.7) now dominant in much of Britain, has spread to more than 50 countries and appears to be mutating again.
- A South Africa variant (B.1.351) found in at least 20 other countries, including the UK.
- The variant from Brazil (P1) detected in four travellers to Japan which has now been found in the UK.
- All three have undergone changes to their spike protein – the part of the virus which attaches to human cells.
- As a result, they seem to be better at infecting cells and spreading.
- Scientists around the world are on the look-out and any important ones will be closely studied and monitored.
- Experts are updating coronavirus vaccines.
- The UK Government has announced a deal with biopharmaceutical company CureVac to develop vaccines against future variants, with a pre-order of 50 million doses.
Q) The “World Water Development Report” is a flagship report of which organisation?
- UN Environment Programme
- Global Water Intelligence
- International Water Association