Mon. Aug 2nd, 2021

SCIENTISTS IN Karnataka are learning genomic sequences of the SARS-CoV-2 virus amongst youngsters contaminated within the second wave so as to confirm if infections are being attributable to the present variants of the virus or newer ones.

A technical advisory committee advising the state authorities on the Covid-19 disaster has tasked the nodal officer for genome sequencing within the state, Prof V Ravi, a former professor of virology, to check gene sequences in samples of youngsters who examined constructive for Covid. “Samples are actually being collected and so they must be processed. We should always have information and data in about 15 days,” he mentioned.

“We’ve mentioned the problem of infections amongst youngsters and a few extra work is required to check the genomic sequencing of viruses from samples of youngsters,” mentioned Prof M Okay Sudarshan, a public well being professional and chairman of the state technical advisory committee.

The transfer to check genome sequences of the virus that contaminated youngsters within the second wave is a part of efforts to arrange for the subsequent wave of infections by understanding if any new variants of the virus are affecting youngsters.

The researchers are virus gene sequences from samples of youngsters who’ve examined constructive and have been severely contaminated in teams like worldwide travellers, native an infection clusters and likewise in breakthrough infections amongst those that could also be vaccinated.

“The virus is continually mutating. Viruses additionally comply with the precept of survival of the fittest and they’re going to go on mutating and the immune escape variant will probably be chosen within the inhabitants,” Prof Ravi mentioned.

As a lot as 10 per cent of those that have examined constructive in Karnataka over the primary and second waves have been youngsters and younger adults within the 0-19 age group and the case fatality charge within the group is 0.1 p.c within the state. Nonetheless, a 4 per cent improve in mortality within the 0-9 age group and a 6 per cent improve within the 10-19 group has been recorded between the primary and second waves.

On June 7, the Karnataka well being division arrange an eight-member Genomic Surveillance Committee below the management of Prof Ravi “for growing efficient management and preventive measures” for Covid-l9. Among the many key duties assigned to the committee is to hold out “Covid-19 genome sequencing to check virus variations” and “in-depth evaluation of genome surveillance and vaccination to establish immune escape variations of the virus and their unfold”.

“My biggest concern for the third wave is that it’ll have an effect on youngsters. It’s easy frequent sense. We’re immunising the aged, the center aged are being immunised and immunisation has began for the younger however there is no such thing as a vaccine for kids. The virus will all the time discover a inclined host. Historical past has taught us that,” Prof Ravi mentioned in a chat just lately.

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