Wednesday, 17 Jul 2024

UK hit by Covid ‘Goldilocks effect’ as Pirola strain rips through entire country

The UK is suffering from the “Goldilocks effect”, which is hampering efforts to fight the multi-mutating Coronavirus strain known as Pirola, an expert has claimed.

The variant is fast becoming the dominant strain in the UK, with positive cases doubling almost every few days in recent weeks. It has been confirmed that it has more than 30 different mutations, making it difficult for experts to analyse it properly – but it is worrying enough that the World Health Organization has placed it on its watch list. And as the country heads into autumn, it is thought that there will be a huge surge of cases from the BA.2.86 strain as was seen when the coronavirus pandemic was at its most dangerous in 2020 and 2021.

And after the UK's Health and Security Agency claimed that it has been spotted almost everywhere in the UK, an expert has claimed that there is one very specific reason that we seem unable to stop the spread of it.

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Speaking to The Guardian, British immunologist and Professor in Biomedical Sciences and Public Engagement at the University of Manchester, Sheena Cruickshank said: “The vaccine-only strategy that the UK is using for vulnerable populations is an insufficient approach.

“Even with boosters, not everyone will have as effective a response to the vaccine – for example if they are immunocompromised or on drugs that affect the function of their immune system.

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“Any person considered more vulnerable to Covid should be able to access well-regulated treatments, including monoclonals and antiviral drugs, to enhance their likelihood of tackling the virus, and head off the possibility of a chronic infection that could incubate new variants.

“In reality, access in the UK is patchy, with a 'Goldilocks effect' whereby patients requesting them must be deemed ill enough to warrant the drug(s) yet not so ill the drugs would no longer be effective.”

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The expert goes on to explain how around 500,000 people in the UK are classed as “clinically vulnerable”, and urged leaders from around the world to come up with a “plan” to “address such inequalities” when it comes to giving “those most in need” the right medication.

The most up-to-date figures show that the UK has a current rolling seven-day average of 2,290 positive new cases per day, up from 271 at the end of June.

Around 16,000 people are thought to have tested positive in the last seven days.

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