Scientists are ringing alarm bells because potentially highly evolved strains of coronavirus have been found in patients in different parts of the world. Its resistance to vaccines has increased people’s concerns.
The spike in the latest known variant of Covid-19 has changed significantly, which may make it invincible when it comes to vaccination. It may be the most evolved coronavirus strain to date, as 32 mutations have apparently been detected in it. The currently dominant and highly-spread Delta strain has at least 11 spike mutations, which led to a surge in cases worldwide this year.
Initially found in three patients in Botswana-hence the name Botswana variant-since the first infection on November 11, it has been found in three countries. Six cases were found in South Africa, and another case was later registered in Hong Kong, according to British media reports.
The Hong Kong patient recently traveled to China from South Africa, which puts scientists on high alert because this new variant may spread to any place through international travel. The patient is said to have also received a dual vaccine.
Tom Peacock, a virologist at the Department of Infectious Diseases at Imperial College London, shared news about the mutant strain, which was called B.1.1.529, and may eventually be named “Nu”. Describe the spike profile of the Botswana variant as “scary,” he said on Twitter that it might be “Antigenicity is worse than almost any other aspect. “
Just discovered: a very small cluster of mutations related to Southern Africa, with very long branch lengths and very bad Spike mutation spectrum, including RBD-K417N, N440K, G446S, S477N, T478K, E484A, Q493K, G496S, Q498R, N501Y , Y505Hhttps://t.co/kgA9c1hKDa
-Tom Peacock (@PeacockFlu) November 23, 2021
Warning that the new variant has a “Very long branch length and very bad spike mutation spectrum,” said the virologist,”Very very much should be monitored. According to the researchers, on the bright side, a large number of mutations may mean that the variant is unstable, which may prevent it from becoming common.
So far, Covid-19 has killed more than 5 million people worldwide and infected more than 259.5 million people.
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