One or more of the four Covid-19 variants The cause of concern for health authorities has been detected so far in 37 countries and territories in the Americas, and Pan American Health Organization (OPS).
This includes mutations that were first identified in the United Kingdom, Brazil, South Africa and India.
Among these, the most prevalent in the region is known as the British variant, which is found in 34 American countries and territories, followed by the Brazilian, at 21, South Africa, at 17, and then the Indian at eight.
The five countries in which the four variables of concern were identified are Argentina, Canada, and the United States, Mexico And Panama. Added to this group is Aruba, a Dutch territory in the Caribbean.
During a seminar with journalists, Giro Mendes Rico, a consultant OPS With regard to emerging viral diseases, he said that mutations are natural in the process of virus evolution and adaptation.
However, when they have a potential impact or risk on public health, they are considered a variable of concern (VOC).
VOCs are associated with an increase in virus transmissibility, as well as an increase in virulence and / or a decrease in the effectiveness of prevention measures, treatment and vaccines.
Mendes Rico explained that a greater reproducibility of these variants does not necessarily imply greater aggressiveness, and noted that so far there is no evidence that currently available vaccines are not effective against them.
He stressed, however, that the more viruses spread in the population, the greater the possibility of new mutations that make the epidemic more difficult to control.
The Pan American Health Organization is conducting genome surveillance to track down variants. Currently, 22 countries participate in that network.
Six regional reference laboratories collaborate in sequence: Oswaldo Cruz Foundation in Brazil, Institute of Public Health in Chile, InDRE in Mexico, Institute of Gorgas in Panama, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States (CDC), and University of the West Indies in Trinidad And Tobago.
Members of the Pan American Health Organization, Regional Office for World Health Organization (WHO), representing 35 countries in the American continent and 16 regions in the region linked to or dependent on the United States, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.