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April 19 2021 at 10:18 AM by Wuser


COVID-19 UNITED KINGDOM VARIANT UPDATE-12

 

Viruses constantly change through mutation, and new variants of a virus are expected to occur over time. Sometimes new variants emerge and disappear. Other times, new variants emerge and persist.

In November-December 2020 the UK announced the discovery of a new strain of SARS-CoV-2. This mutated virus has been named B117 virus or VUI2020/21 and it has scared virologists and healthcare experts in the UK and across the world. Epidemiologists and virologists have found that B117 virus is 70% more transmissible than the other strains.

The variant is the result of multiple mutations in the spike protein of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, as well as mutations in other genomic regions of the RNA virus. Preliminary analysis suggests that it is more transmissible than previously circulating variants. COG-UK identified one of these mutations as “N501Y”, in an area of the spike protein that binds to a key protein in the human cell, the ACE2 receptor. This was an indication that the alterations may, theoretically, result in the virus becoming more infectious.

 

How is the new strain different from other COVID strains?

 

It has been observed that the nature of the proteins that help in the attachment of the virus has undergone a mutation. This new alteration of the coronavirus has increased the rate of transmission in human beings.

The location of the mutations in the receptor-binding domain of the spike glycoprotein raises the possibility that this variant is antigenically distinct from prior variants. Four probable reinfections have been identified amongst 915 subjects with this variant but further work is needed to compare this reinfection rate with comparable data set

 

In its latest epidemiological update, Maria Van Kerkhove, COVID-19 Technical Lead of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme, said the more contagious COVID-19 variant, first spotted in Britain, has now spread to 82 countries,

The best way to combat any strain of COVID, according to the WHO, is to observe the COVID protocol. So let us continue wearing masks, sanitizing ourselves, and maintaining social distancing


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