Regarding the COVID-19 Variants
The COVID-19 variants are said to have the possibility of being more infectious than the original virus, and there is worry of a sudden, large number of infections occurring. Therefore, it is necessary for everyone to be extremely cautious.
To the people of Tokushima Prefecture,
- Thoroughy practice fundamental measures to protect against the virus (avoid the 3 C’s, wear a mask, use hand sanitizer, gargle).
- It’s currenty the season where many people travel, so each one of us should carefully consider if travel is necessary.
If you have a fever or are feeling unwell and think you may have the virus, consult with your family doctor as soon as possible.
Make certain not to let your guard down and to continue following measures to prevent the spread of the virus.
Regarding Tests for the Variants
In order to get a better grasp on the trends for outbreaks of COVID-19 variants, the Center for Public Health, Medicine, and Environmental Sciences and the Livestock Sanitation and Disease Control Center are conducting screening tests for the L452R variant (Delta variant).
Additionally, we have been conducting tests for the N501Y variant, which was first detected in England, and have been publishing the results. Based on the test results and national trends, it was thought that the variant had changed, so on June 21st we began screening tests for the Delta variant “L452R variant”
Out of the samples we checked for the L452R variant, all were negative, however, on July 19th we confirmed two cases of the variant.
Regarding Variants of Concern (VOC)
- Primariy variants that have changed to have an increased risk of infection and serious symptoms, and that reduce the effectiveness of vaccines.
- This incudes the Alpha variant (N501Y that was confirmed in England), Beta variant (N501Y/E484K confirmed in South Africa), Gamma variant (N501Y/E484K confirmed in Brazil), and the Delta variant (L452R confirmed in India).
- The Apha variant, which has been confirmed in many cases in Japan, has an increased infection rate of 1.32 and a 1.4 increased rate for causing serious symptoms. There is no evidence that it has any effect on the effectiveness of vaccines.
- L452R is cassified as a VOC, and was given the name “Delta Variant” by the WHO. It has a higher risk for infection and hospitalization. As of July 5th, there have been 481 cases of the Deta Variant in Japan and 245 cases from other countries.
Regarding Variants of Interest (VOI)
- Incudes variants with E484K and the Epsilon variant that was confirmed in the United States.
- In Japan, strains that have E484K but not N501Y have been found. Presenty there have been no mutations found that have an effect on the infection rate.