Prayer #340: For the New B.1.526 COVID-19 Variant Multiplying in New York City
A new variant of COVID-19, termed B.1.526, is spreading quickly in the New York City region, and it carries a mutation that is of concern to some viral researchers. This new variant first appeared in November, and by the middle of February, it accounted for approximately one in four viral sequences in a scientific database called GISAID that contains hundreds of thousands of these sequences taken from a small proportion of infected people. The identification of this COVID variant was made independently by two teams of researchers, one from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and one from Columbia University. Speaking of the B.1.526 variant, Anthony West, a computational scientist at Caltech said: "There was a pattern that was recurring, and a group of isolates concentrated in the New York region that I hadn't seen." Two versions of the variant were identified, the first with the E484K mutation and the second with the S477N mutation. The Columbia research team discovered that, out of 1,142 COVID patients treated at the university's medical center, 12% of them had the new variant with the E484K mutation. Most cases with the variant were seen in patients living in northern Manhattan near Columbia's hospital, but there have also been cases identified in Westchester County, the Bronx, Queens, and the lower part of Manhattan. The E484K mutation has been called the "escape mutation" because it may assist COVID-19 to evade a human immune response. Its presence in this new variant is causing concern among health officials.
Pray that this new variant would not continue to multiply but would begin now to die out. Pray that it would not in any way prove to be resistant to the COVID-19 vaccines. And, as we have been praying with regard to the other variants that have appeared, pray that the continued vaccinations in this country would forestall any possible rise in COVID-19 cases due to this new variant.
Ps. 55:12: "Cast your burden on the LORD, and He will sustain you; He will never permit the righteous to be moved."