Coronavirus variant detected in Guayaquil

In two samples of patients in intensive care, researchers from the Universidad de Especialidades Espíritu Santo (UEES), in Guayaquil, found a variant of the coronavirus that has a sequence that resembles those of the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil.

Fernando Espinoza, director of the UEES Research Center, reported that the results of the samples were notified to the Ministry of Health.

He explained that in total they sequenced 24 genomes of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and in two of them there was this closeness.

“They are not the variants from England, South Africa, or Manaus, but certain characteristics in the RNA sequence tell us that it looks like this, it may be a process that is in mutation or in the future this will be a new mutation make it more aggressive, «said the specialist.

The analysis was done during the second half of 2020 and samples from patients who were in intensive care were incorporated because they wanted to analyze if the condition was related to a more aggressive virus or if it resembled the English variant of patient zero.

With this finding, the doctors pointed out that there are a large number of new variants in the country and indicated that in order to determine this, it is necessary to interview the patient, know their environment, know how many they infected and obtain samples from these patients to sequence.

A sample from the epidemiological fence in Valencia, Los Ríos province, which was established by patient zero, was also sequenced. In our country, six cases have been detected with variant B.1.1.7.

In addition, the researchers detected four lineages in Guayaquil that had been reported in Zimbabwe, the United States, Switzerland and part of Europe.

According to a statement from the entity, it is the first time that these variants have been reported in South America and in the country. However, they are variants that present no greater danger than normal.

They warned that the message they want to give is that the authorization to let in new people only with a Covid-19 test 10 days before is not working because they are already infected with the variant of the virus.

It transpired that 24 more genomes will be sequenced this week, which were chosen from different parts of the country and are from the last month.

The institution will carry out a new balance in 15 days to study what happened during the electoral process.

Espinoza commented that a work team is being assembled with other universities and the Ministry of Health to increase the sequencing of genomes and urged the population to maintain biosecurity measures.

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