According to various reports, a new Covid-19 variant has evolved within UK, Japan and some parts of South Africa. Although all the variants in these countries differ from each other in some ways, the effects of this new evolved virus are same. There could also be the possibility of developing new mutations of Corona virus in other countries like US which could be 50% more transmissible and could propel the spread.
The Concerns of this Variant:
The new variant is rapidly replacing the other properties of the virus and it has changes that affect part of the virus likely to be significant. Some of those mutations have already been shown to increase the ability of the virus to infect cells. All of these three components build a solid case for a virus that can spread more easily than the original corona virus. That does not mean that it is more deadly, it just makes it easy to infect.
Speciality of the B117 variant in Florida:
The UK variant has several mutations similar to those variants in Japan and South Africa that affects the “Spike Protein” on the virus surface that attaches to human cells. The major reason of the easy transmission of this variant is because it’s able to bind to the receptors on cells better and therefore transmitted easily. Reports have also confirmed that climate change may indirectly affect the covid-19 response, as it undermines the environmental determinants of health and places additional stress on the health system.
The new variant was first detected in September. In November around a quarter of cases in London were of the variant. And the cases have been rising ever since and crossed the two-thirds of the covid cases in mid-December. This mutated virus can be found across the UK, except Northern Ireland, but it is heavily concentrated in London, the South East and eastern England.
Other Variants and their characteristics:
The virus that was first detected in Wuhan, China is not the same one you detected in the other parts of the world. The D614G mutation emerged in Europe in February and became the globally dominant form of virus. Another called A222V, spread across Europe and was linked to the peoples summer holidays in Spain.
A study of this new variant has Identified 17 potentially important changes. There have alterations to the spike protein which is the key the virus uses to unlock the doorway to our body’s cells. One mutation called N501Y changes the most significant part of the spine known as the “receptor-binding domain”. This is where the spike makes first contact with the surface of our body’s cells. Any alterations that make it easier for the virus to get inside are likely to give it an easy source.
Effect of the Vaccine on the new variants:
The vaccine helps the immune system to attack several different parts of the virus. As the fundamental part of the original corona virus and the mutated variants are similar, same vaccine should work on both. But if in due course of time these variants add more mutations, then it is possible that the same vaccine won’t work for both viruses. As we know that change is the fundamental law of nature, the possibility of this virus to mutate on further limit is real. If that happens we have to alter our present vaccine to stop the spread of this variant. Till then all we can do is to take safety measures and ensure the proper health of our family.