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Articles on COVID-19 variants

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Colorized scanning electron micrograph of a cell (orange) infected with UK B.1.1.7 variant SARS-CoV-2 virus particles (green), isolated from a patient sample. Image captured at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland. (NIAID)

COVID-19 variants FAQ: How did the U.K., South Africa and Brazil variants emerge? Are they more contagious? How does a virus mutate? Could there be a super-variant that evades vaccines?

Variants of the original SARS-CoV-2 are now in wide circulation. That means the third wave of COVID-19 has come with new questions about the variants, their effects and what might come next.
The AstraZeneca vaccine was 70 per cent effective against symptomatic COVID-19 infection in a large multinational study, and recently reported 76 per cent overall efficacy against symptomatic COVID-19 in another large study done primarily in the United States. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine FAQ: Why do the age recommendations keep changing? Does it cause VIPIT blood clots? Is it effective against variants?

With changing recommendations about AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine making headlines, many people have questions about its use.
Sequencing the genetic code of virus samples taken from COVID-19 patients reveals how SARS-CoV-2 is spreading and changing. Nate Langer/UPMC

Genomic surveillance: What it is and why we need more of it to track coronavirus variants and help end the COVID-19 pandemic

The US lags in testing coronavirus samples from COVID-19 patients, which can help track the spread of the virus and the emergence of new variants. But labs are ramping up this crucial surveillance.
Layering face masks has been suggested as a way to increase protection against COVID-19 variants that may be more transmissible. (Shutterstock)

Are two cloth masks better than one for preventing the spread of COVID-19?

Are two face masks better than one? Adding layers of filtration by double masking is a way of using the masks that we already have, possibly to better effect.
Workers prepare to greet passengers at the COVID-19 testing centre in the international arrivals area at Pearson Airport in Toronto on Jan. 26, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Why Canada doesn’t know how many COVID-19 cases are linked to travel

Recently announced travel restrictions are intended to curb the spread of COVID-19 variants. However, we need to do a better job of tracking arrivals into the country.
Health care workers and patients in the temporary outside area Steve Biko Academic Hospital created to screen and treat suspected Covid-19 cases in Pretoria. Alet Pretorius/Gallo Images via Getty Images

South African scientists who discovered new COVID-19 variant share what they know

Scientists have observed that 501Y.V2 has quickly become "dominant" among multiple variants that have been circulating in the South African population.
Medical technician Amira Doudou prepares samples at the University Hospital Institute for Infectious Diseases in Marseille, France, Jan. 13, 2021, to study the highly contagious COVID-19 variant. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole)

Why new COVID-19 variants are on the rise and spreading around the world

Multiple COVID-19 variants are circulating around the world and becoming more common. These mutations can alter the ability of the virus to take hold and replicate within our cells.

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