‘The Perfect Storm’: Lax Social Distancing Fuelled a Coronavirus Variant’s Brazilian Surge

June 3, 2021

(Nature) – The coronavirus variant behind Brazil’s ferocious second wave of COVID-19 emerged, in part, because of relaxed social distancing, according to an analysis of viral sequences from the outbreak’s epicentre. In late 2020, researchers first spotted the P.1 variant — also called Gamma — in people who returned to Japan from Manaus, the capital of Brazil’s Amazonas state. Since P.1 emerged, scientists have found evidence that it is more transmissible than some other variants, and evades antibodies more easily. Infections caused by the variant overwhelmed Manaus, which had already experienced one of the world’s highest documented rates of SARS-CoV-2 infection in its first wave. (Read Full Article)