The Expert of Rospotrebnadzor Assessed the Danger of Mutations of the COVID-19 Delta Strain
OREANDA-NEWS. Further evolution of the delta coronavirus strain is unlikely to increase its danger. This point of view was expressed by the head of the scientific group for the development of new methods for diagnosing human diseases of the Central Research Institute of Epidemiology of Rospotrebnadzor Kamil Hafizov.
According to information published by foreign scientists, the delta strain has almost completely exhausted its capabilities and is unlikely to be able to generate more dangerous mutations, Hafizov said. The expert did not specify which publications he was talking about, noting only that, according to his estimates, other COVID-19 mutations can now significantly increase the ability to adapt, but not delta variants. "In other words, the probability of the delta developing in an even more dangerous direction is low,"- the expert stated.
In his opinion, the new strains of coronavirus that will appear in the near future will be branches of the delta. "Moreover, [mutations will be] not only in the S-protein gene, which can give the pathogen an advantage over the delta variant that exists today,"- the specialist noted.
Earlier, on September 21, Hafizov said that now the COVID-19 delta strain, which appeared in Russia in April, dominates the country. In June, the mayor of the capital, Sergei Sobyanin, stated that it was detected in 90% of sick Muscovites. At the end of August, specialists of the Ministry of Health came to the conclusion that this variant has a greater lethality than the previous mutations. According to the Assistant Minister of Health of Russia Alexey Kuznetsov, infection with the delta strain led to a faster development of the disease and accelerated the appearance of severe complications — damage to organs, including the heart, and extensive pneumonia.
Earlier, Deputy Prime Minister of the government Tatyana Golikova stated an increase in mortality from the delta strain by 13.9%. Larisa Popovich, Director of the HSE Institute of Health Economics, told RBC about its higher contagiousness — about three times. "According to the WHO, the increase in the contagiousness of this strain is 82% relative to the English virus,"- she said. The specialist noted that it is extremely difficult to assess the lethality of this variant, but it has increased by about one and a half times compared to the usual strain.