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Impending disaster: rise of the epsilon variant in Pakistan and the way forward.

  • Academic Journal
  • Moin A; Dow University of Health Sciences, Baba e Urdu Road, Karachi 74200, Pakistan.
    Usmani SUR; Dow University of Health Sciences, Baba e Urdu Road, Karachi 74200, Pakistan.
    Khan H; Dow University of Health Sciences, Baba e Urdu Road, Karachi 74200, Pakistan.
  • International health [Int Health] 2022 Sep 07; Vol. 14 (5), pp. 540-541.
  • English
  • The constantly mutating severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-COV-2) does not appear to be slowing down any time soon. All countries, particularly developing countries, must adapt and strategically plan their way of life around the pandemic, while doing everything possible to keep the mortality rate and spread of the newly emerging variants as low as possible, in order to avoid a further blow to the economy and way of life. Pakistan is one such developing country that is currently battling the dangerous delta strain of SARS-COV-2 with limited resources and has recently seen the emergence of an equally transmissible and highly infectious epsilon strain. This is a concerning situation considering that Pakistan's already overburdened health system and faltering economy cannot withstand another dangerous SARS-COV-2 variant attack. This article highlights some strategies for the country to fortify its defences to prevent the epsilon variant from spreading before it is too late, and emphasises that while identifying potential immune evasion mechanisms in SARS-COV-2 variants is critical in the fight against COVID-19, it is also critical to develop methods of efficient and cost-effective detection to identify an early outbreak and then vigilantly and systematically plan area lockdowns before any hope of conquering this pandemic is lost.
    (© The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.)
Additional Information
Publisher: Oxford University Press Country of Publication: England NLM ID: 101517095 Publication Model: Print Cited Medium: Internet ISSN: 1876-3405 (Electronic) Linking ISSN: 18763405 NLM ISO Abbreviation: Int Health Subsets: MEDLINE
Publication: 2013- : Oxford : Oxford University Press
Original Publication: -2012: Kidlington, Oxford : Elsevier
Int J Infect Dis. 2021 Sep;110:15-20. (PMID: 34146689)
J Clin Microbiol. 2021 Sep 20;59(10):e0084521. (PMID: 34288729)
Comput Biol Med. 2021 Sep;136:104703. (PMID: 34352457)
Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic; Pakistan; developing countries; epsilon variant; strategic planning
SARS-CoV-2 variants
Date Created: 20211007 Date Completed: 20220909 Latest Revision: 20220930