Posted 12 января 2023,, 14:49

Published 12 января 2023,, 14:49

Modified 12 января 2023,, 14:55

Updated 12 января 2023,, 14:55

The Kraken coronavirus strain has arrived in Russia. What should we prepare for

The Kraken coronavirus strain has arrived in Russia. What should we prepare for

12 января 2023, 14:49
The first case of a new variant of the Kraken coronavirus has been identified in Russia. Rospotrebnadzor does not plan to introduce restrictions in this regard, but still the arrival of the upgraded virus will require some action.

Irina Mishina

The name of the virus is taken from Greek mythology and symbolizes a huge fabulous sea monster.

With this name, scientists want to warn: Omicron mutates and becomes more contagious. The Kraken strain is not a new type of viral infection, but a more contagious variety of COVID–19.

Less lethal, but still dangerous

A new mutation of the virus was first registered in the United States in early December 2022.

The high contagiousness of the strain is confirmed by data from the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC). By the end of the year, almost half of all infections in the country accounted for this COVID-19 subvariant. At the same time, two weeks ago, Kraken coronavirus was diagnosed in only 10 percent of patients. The rate of infection spread is explained by the fact that the new strain has "learned" to evade immune antibodies by connecting with the human spike protein. Therefore, the immune system is not able to recognize the new virus.

In the first week of 2023, a new strain was diagnosed in 28 countries in Europe, Africa and New Zealand. In Russia, the first case of infection with a variant of the Kraken coronavirus infection was detected in Penza. And this, apparently, is just the beginning.

Rospotrebnadzor reported that the Kraken does not have an increased lethality and is not more difficult to carry than other variants of the virus. However, virologists see a particular danger of the new variety in the fact that the time of infection spread fell during the period of seasonal acute respiratory viral infections and influenza. At this time, the body is weakened and susceptible to infection, the risks of exacerbation of chronic diseases increase.

"The Kraken subspecies is similar to Omicron, as it is one of its variants and has no significant features. However, it can infect those who have had the first variants of covid", - says molecular biologist and virologist, corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Peter Chumakov.

Meanwhile, bad news awaits Europe, Politico writes.

The author of the publication Carlo Martuschelli analyzed the materials of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control and reported that the XBB subvariant.1.5 is spreading rapidly across the continent.

It is not the Kraken that is dangerous, but its complications

There is evidence that the primary focus originated in the United States, where it now dominates.

Although the Kraken, according to our data, is very unpleasant, the mortality rate from it is low," said the chairman of the Board of the Moscow City Scientific Society of Therapists, Professor Pavel Vorobyov.

He also clarified that the disease proceeds in two phases: the first, like other coronavirus strains, lasts one week from the moment of infection, after that the disease develops, and complications may begin a week later. It is in them, according to virologists, that the main danger lies: lung damage, viral pneumonitis may develop.

"Coronavirus is dangerous primarily for its consequences and complications", - says Pavel Vorobyov, MD. – In the second phase of the development of the disease, encephalopathy may occur, the lesion of the eye – with headaches, sleep disorders, vision, weakness. There may be microthrombosis of internal organs, so doctors recommend taking anticoagulants from the very beginning of the disease".

The first symptoms

Signs of Kraken are primarily general weakness with aching joints, as well as acute throbbing pain in the muscles.

The temperature may not rise more than 38 degrees, but the general state of health resembles an exacerbation of bronchitis, a severe cold that makes breathing difficult. Among the symptoms, in addition to a temperature of 38 and above, doctors call a runny nose, difficulty breathing, sore throat, muscle and joint pain, cough, weakness, headache.

Who will get sick first

According to doctors, the new strain is dangerous for elderly and weakened people, as well as for children under three years old, pregnant and lactating women.

"Viruses are becoming more contagious and less lethal. However, it all depends on the individual characteristics of the body. Zhirinovsky, for example, died from the effects of Omicron. Nikita Mikhalkov is suffering from it now quite hard", - molecular biologist and virologist, corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Pyotr Chumakov told NI. – But in general, the coronavirus pandemic is ending, these are already echoes. It is possible that soon covid will manifest itself as a common cold, nothing more. However, the spread of its strains will depend on collective immunity. For example, where it is low, as in China, there will be a lot of cases".

The question arises, who will have immunity against the Kraken. "Those who have had the coronavirus will have about the same immunity as those who have been vaccinated. It is possible that those who have been ill and vaccinated may also get sick, but they will carry this strain with less pronounced symptoms and consequences. The vaccine that is currently being offered in Russia does not neutralize new strains well", - says virologist Pyotr Chumakov.

According to virologists, Kraken will inevitably come to Russia and displace all other strains. But there will be no catastrophe. "Not so long ago, for example, there was an outbreak of coronavirus in Moscow, it fell in the autumn, so the capital can be said to be protected in the near future", - said virologist, corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Peter Chumakov. - The rise in morbidity should be expected closer to spring".