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Safe vaccine mixing, black mold epidemic, and coronavirus age: top 5 news on COVID-19

The Indian coronavirus strain Delta has reached Ukraine. Doctors have already recorded two cases of the Indian variant in the country. At the same time, the number of patients in Ukraine remains stable, and all regions of Ukraine continue to be in the "green" zone.

Moreover, for the first time in almost a year, zero deaths from coronavirus were recorded in Kyiv. However, the spread of new strains could cause a new lockdown in the middle of summer, although the next outbreak was expected only in the fall. The Page has compiled the most interesting news about the coronavirus for the week of June 21-27.

1

Delta strain in Ukraine

After detecting the delta strain in Ukraine, the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) defined a number of measures to combat it. In addition, the Cabinet of Ministers imposed mandatory testing of those who come from countries at risk.

The NSDC believes that the Delta strain can get to Ukraine from India, Great Britain, Portugal, Russia, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia, where it is now actively circulating.

Therefore, against the background of the new strain spread, the NSDC proposed the following measures:

  • accelerating the pace of vaccination and its availability, especially for those aged over 60;
  • intensification of the awareness-raising work among the population about the need for immunization and the use of personal protective equipment;
  • strengthening of the laboratory component for the detection of the Delta strain;
  • improving medical protocols;
  • enhancing the preparedness of medical institutions to provide care to patients with coronavirus;
  • maximum immunization of medical personnel.

At the moment the Delta strain has been found in at least 92 countries. According to the forecast of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, this variant of coronavirus may account for 70% of new infections in August 2021, and 90% by September.

2

Israel resumes quarantine

Israel, which was the first country to complete vaccinating the population against the coronavirus, has resumed quarantine. The reason was the increase in the number of patients with coronavirus. On June 21, 126 patients were recorded in the country.

For instance, the mask regime is reimposed at the Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, border crossings, and medical institutions.

Even vaccinated citizens and those who have already had a coronavirus will be sent to quarantine if they have come into contact with patients with coronavirus. At the same time, parents can receive a fine of 1,290 euros if their children violate the quarantine.

Israeli Ministry of Health associates the increase in the number of patients with tourists who did not observe the quarantine.

3

"Black mold" in India

The number of mucormycosis or "black mold" cases in India among patients with coronavirus has risen again. In recent weeks, 30,000 cases of the disease were recorded. 2,100 of those people died.

The fungus is very dangerous for patients with coronavirus, since the weakened immune system cannot cope with spores. In particular, mold can cause tissue necrosis.

The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control stated that the infection is provoked by mold living in a hospital environment. For the most part it does not harm humans. However, the number of cases of mold becoming dangerous to humans is on the rise amid coronavirus outbreaks in India.

The fungus enters the body with the air or may be on the patient's skin.

4

Mixing coronavirus vaccines

Mixing vaccines from different manufacturers has become a new trend in the treatment of coronavirus. For example, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has announced that mixing coronavirus vaccines is safe and effective.

All approved vaccines work the same way—by stimulating the immune response to the viral spike protein.

A number of countries have chosen to use the RNA vaccine BioNtech/Pfizer or Moderna as the second dose after vaccinating with AstraZeneca. This decision was made after receiving news about the blood clots formation after vaccinating with AstraZeneca.

However, the EMA is still unable to provide definitive recommendations for using different COVID-19 vaccines for different doses. Therefore, national governments must decide themselves how to act.

5

Coronavirus is over 20,000 years old

Scientists have found traces of the coronavirus in the DNA of people in China, Japan, and Vietnam. There is a possibility that the coronavirus swept across East Asia more than 20,000 years ago. During the study, scientists found evidence of genetic adaptation to the coronavirus family in 42 genes in modern populations living in these regions.

"Historical records of outbreaks caused by viruses and other pathogens go back thousands of years. It seems plausible that they reach even deeper times—the first periods of mankind prehistory," the researchers note.

For instance, scientists have applied modern computational analysis for the genomes of more than 2.500 people from 26 population groups around the world. Studies have found evidence of adaptation in 42 different human genes contained in viral interacting proteins (VIPs).

These VIP signals were present in only five populations, all from East Asia, the likely homeland of the coronavirus family. This suggests that the ancestors of modern East Asians were exposed to the coronavirus approximately 25,000 years ago.

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