A new strain of COVID-19 in the UK that is believed to be behind the rapid spread of disease in the south east of England has been described as “a real cause for concern”.
However, this is not the first time that the virus has been transmitted since the onset of the pandemic and this may not be the first time that a mutation – or change in the virus’ genetic material – has changed so infectiously. and it is.
So, should we be concerned?
Movements may not be a bad thing – although they are rarely mentioned.
All viruses move because, when it communicates with a host, it makes new copies of itself that can be captured by other cells.
And at first, scientists were relatively calm about how the new thing was discovered COVID mutation.
But, as he mentioned new restrictions Stage 4 for millions of people in England, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the new variable strain that could be up to 70% more volatile and could increase the R value by 0.4.
Professor Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, also went a little further on astronomy – and the head of an influential research charity later went on to say it was “a matter of great concern”.
Dr Whitty said he had warned the World Health Organization – that he would focus on analyzing data related to the distribution of the booth.
He advised people not to travel outside London and the South East, as there was a “high risk” of spreading the new strain of the virus.
He said: “As a result of the rapid spread of the new variant, pre-modeling data and rapidly rising frequency levels in the South East, the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Risk Advisory Group (NERVTAG) is now part of the idea that the new strain can spread more. quickly. “
But he reassured the public that there was “currently no evidence” that the new strain was causing a higher mortality rate or that it had affected vaccines and treatments.
He said “urgent work” was underway to prove this and said: “With this latest development, it is now more important than ever that the public continues to work. action in their area to reduce emissions. “
Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust, a medical research charity, went further than Dr Whitty, describing the snoring, in a tweet, as “worrying and a real cause for concern”.
He said: “Research is ongoing to understand more, but it is imperative to be proactive now. There is no part of the UK and around the world that should not be of concern. As in many country, the situation is precarious. “
Such RNA viruses corona-virus small changes are more likely to occur as the copies are made.
In some cases, mutation may even weaken the virus. But in others, they can make the virus more contagious or cause a more serious illness.
COVID-19 has been ingested every week or so, with many of the mutations having no effect on the virus.
Sky science journalist Thomas Moore has said that the new mutation is “not entirely unusual” but “it is something they will be keeping a close eye on”.
What are the different layers?
To date, there have been at least seven major groups, or series, of COVID-19 as it adapts to its human hosts.
The original strain, found in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December last year, is called the L strain.
It then entered the S-strand in early 2020, before the V and G sequences continued.
Strain G was commonly found in Europe and North America – but because these continents were slow to restrict movement, it allowed the virus to spread faster and thus spread. further into the GR, GH and GV sequences.
At the same time, the original L strain lasted longer in Asia as several countries – China included – were quick to close their borders and stop movement.
There are several other mutations that are less frequently grouped together as O strains.
In Denmark, authorities became concerned about a strain of the virus found in 12 people associated with mink farming.
They feared that the mutation could hamper the effectiveness of vaccination because it had occurred in the protein spike, as a result of which the government ordered a massive ban of up to 17 million animals and a month-long lock-in for people who lived in the northwest of the country.
What are the most common types in the world?
G-rays are now found all over the world, especially in Italy and Europe, at the same time as spikes in revolution.
A specific variant, D614G, is the most common variant. Some experts say that this variant has made the virus more contagious, but other studies have refuted this.
At the same time, earlier sequences such as the original L strain and the V strain gradually disappear.
Analysis by the Reuters news agency shows that Australia’s rapid impact on the effective dispersal and social measures has eliminated the country’s earlier transmission of L and S series, and that new diseases are caused by rays. G imported from abroad.
In Asia, the G, GH and GR rays have been rising since the beginning of March, more than a month after they began to spread in Europe.
Will mutations affect the vaccine?
To date, experts have not found any modifications that could make the vaccine so effective, and the virus has been slow.
Dr Whitty said it would be a “surprise” if it affected the vaccine, although it added that more hard data should be available relatively soon.
Federico Giorgi, a researcher at the University of Bologna who coordinated a study of strains of COVID-19, told Science Daily: “The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus appears to have already been augmented to affect human beings, and this explains the evolutionary nature of change.
“This means that the treatments we are developing, including vaccines, could be effective against all types of viruses.”
A group of scientists from several institutes including Sheffield University and Harvard University have also suggested that G-rays may be a better target for vaccines because they have more spike proteins on their surfaces.
However, University of London College of Genetics Institute researcher Lucy van Dorp said we should remain “vigilant” and keep an eye out for any new mutations.
The best way to make sure the vaccine virus does is to stop infections from spreading and reduce the chances of it getting rid of it.
Catherine Bennett, chair of epidemiology in the faculty of health at Deakin University Melbourne, said: “If the virus changes significantly, especially the spike proteins, it may get out of the vaccine. We want a slow spread. sent across the globe to make the clock slower.
“That reduces the chances of a change in squillion is terrible news for us.”