FDA warns new coronavirus mutations may lead to false negative Covid-19 test results in some cases


A sign from Provincetown, Massachusetts, informs people of a mandatory mask zone on July 10. Zach D Roberts / NurPhoto via Getty Images

The United States could have its own version of a more transmissible coronavirus that could help fuel the already aggressive spread of the virus, the White House Coronavirus Task Force said in its latest report to States this week.

Reports sent by the task force to states dated Jan.3 warned of the possibility of an ‘American variant’ of Covid-19.

“This fall / winter surge has been almost twice as fast as the number of cases as spring and summer increase. This acceleration suggests that there could be an American variant that evolved here, in addition to the British variant that is already spreading in our communities and could be 50% more transmissible, ”according to reports obtained by CNN.

The task force called for “aggressive mitigation measures … to deal with a much more aggressive virus”.

This mitigation should include the use of face masks, the task force said, and the immediate vaccination of as many people as possible.

“Without the consistent implementation of an effective face mask (two or three layers and properly fitted) and strict social distancing, epidemics could quickly escalate as these variants spread and become predominant.”

The United States has been tracking cases of a variant first identified in the United Kingdom and which appears to be more easily transmitted.

The pandemic continues to rage as the nation turned its attention to the insurgency on the U.S. Capitol and the certification of victory for President-elect Joe Biden, and the task force continued to warn states of an “aggressive community spread” after the holiday season.

“The United States remains at a high plateau of 140,000 to 150,000 confirmed and suspected COVID admissions per week and 120 to 125,000 total inpatients. Significant continued deterioration, from California across the Sunbelt and to the southeast, mid-Atlantic and northeast, despite low rates of testing during the holidays, suggests an aggressive community spread ” , according to the task force.

The task force reports also called for the creation of ambulatory infusion sites for the treatment of monoclonal antibodies “immediately available to save lives”.

And as the nation struggles to get Americans immunized quickly, reports say vaccines must “be brought up to arms now.”

“Do not delay the rapid vaccination of people over 65 and vulnerable to serious diseases; Recommend the creation of high throughput vaccination sites with the use of EMT staff to monitor potential anaphylaxis and make full use of nursing students. No vaccine should be in freezers, but should instead be put into guns now; active and aggressive vaccination in the face of this outbreak would save lives, ”according to reports.

This week, California is the state with the most new cases per 100,000 population, followed by Arizona, Kansas, Tennessee, Rhode Island, Utah, Arkansas, West Virginia , Georgia and Massachusetts in the top 10.

Test positivity, a sign of an increase in future cases, is highest in Oklahoma, followed by Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Virginia, Tennessee, from Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama.

Arkansas has the most hospital admissions per 100 inpatient beds, followed by Arizona, Maryland, Oklahoma, Georgia, Kentucky, California, District of Columbia, from South Carolina and New Mexico.

And Kansas has the most new deaths per 100,000 population, followed by Wyoming, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Arkansas, Indiana, Mississippi, Arizona, Tennessee and Rhode Island.


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