Fast Five Quiz: COVID-19 Variants

Glenn Wortmann, MD


August 03, 2022

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has categorized SARS-CoV-2 variants into three classes: variant of interest, variant of concern, and variant under monitoring. The four classes according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are variant being monitored, variant of interest, variant of concern, and variant of high consequence. Variants with precise markers that are associated with variations in receptor binding, decreased antibody neutralization developed against previous infection or vaccination, diminished efficacy of treatments, potential diagnostic impact, or a projected increase in transmissibility of disease severity are classified as variants of interest.

Presently, no COVID-19 variant has been classified as a variant of high consequence, according to the US CDC, which encompasses variants that are associated with significantly decreased efficacy of preventive and medical measures.

Variants that have been associated with high disease transmissibility; more disease severity, including hospitalizations and deaths; a significant decrease in antibody neutralization; diminished treatment efficacy; and diagnostic detection failure are considered variants of concern. The Delta variant is now considered to be a de-escalated variant.

Learn more about COVID-19 variants.


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