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比Delta和Lambda更致命的末日病毒變體可能即將到來

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A Doomsday COVID Variant Worse Than Delta and Lambda May Be Coming, Scientists Say

科學家稱,一種比Delta和Lambda更糟糕的末日新冠病毒變體可能即將到來

Scientists keep underestimating the coronavirus. In the beginning of the pandemic, they said mutated versions of the virus wouldn't be much of a problem—until the more-infectious Alpha caused a spike in cases last fall. Then Beta made young people sicker and Gamma reinfected those who'd already recovered from COVID-19. Still, by March, as the winter surge in the U.S. receded, some epidemiologists were cautiously optimistic that the rapid vaccine rollout would soon tame the variants and cause the pandemic to wind down.

科學家們一直在低估冠狀病毒。在疫情之初,他們說,變異的病毒不會造成太大問題,直到去年秋天更具傳染性的Alpha病毒導致病例激增。接著Beta病毒使年輕人病情加重,Gamma病毒再次感染那些已經從新冠肺炎中康復的人。盡管如此,到了3月份,隨著美國冬季病例激增逐漸消退,一些流行病學家仍持謹慎樂觀的態度,認為快速推出的疫苗將很快制服病毒變種,使疫情逐漸平息。

delta-plus-variant.jpg

Delta has now shattered that optimism. This variant, first identified in India in December, spreads faster than any previous strain of SARS-CoV-2, as the COVID-19 virus is officially named. It is driving up infection rates in every state of the U.S., prompting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to once again recommend universal mask-wearing.

如今,德爾塔變種使這種樂觀期望破滅。這種變種于去年12月在印度被首次發現,它的傳播速度比以往任何一種SARS-CoV-2(這是COVID-19的正式名稱)毒株都快。它正在推高美國各州的感染率,導致疾病控制和預防中心再次建議全民佩戴口罩。

The Delta outbreak is going to get much worse, warns Michael Osterholm, an epidemiologist who leads the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. "The number of intensive-care beds needed could be higher than any time we've seen," he says. He adds that his team's analysis shows that almost every single one of the 100 million unvaccinated Americans who hasn't had COVID-19 yet will likely get it in the coming months, short of taking the sort of strong isolation and masking precautions that seem unlikely in the vaccine-hesitant population.

明尼蘇達大學傳染病研究和政策中心負責人、流行病學家邁克爾·奧斯特霍爾姆警告說,德爾塔病毒帶來的疫情暴發將變得更加嚴重。他說:“所需的重癥監護床位數量可能比我們見過的任何時候都要多?!彼a充說,他們團隊的分析顯示,在接下來的幾個月里,未接種疫苗且還未感染新冠病毒的1億美國人中,幾乎每一個人都有可能感染,除非采取強有力的隔離和口罩預防措施,而在對接種疫苗態度猶豫的人群中,這種預防措施似乎不太可能。

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