COVID-19 Variants: What Should I know?
Just when we thought the COVID-19 is on its way to say goodbye to us, there have been emerging cases of the new COVID-19 variant all across Europe. It is slowly gaining momentum as cases are now appearing in Asia, America and even Africa. According to experts, this variant is even more powerful than the one we’ve seen, and the current vaccine might not be effective here. So, what is it? Some medics believe that it is the evolved form of the COVID-19 and till now 23 such mutations have been discovered!
Every virus mutates, but is alarming in this case is its spike like S protein which helps the virus to attach itself to the human cells. It makes the spread faster and even more infectious.
However, the recent discovery proves that although the variant has become a common strain of the virus in England; there is no evidence that it is more infectious. Further, there is no evidence concerning severe illness related to this strain which means that the current vaccine might be effective for this variant. The emergence of this strain is still not clear, but the high prevalence of this variant in the UK and US makes it seem likely that it is spreading quite quickly.
Here is a quick overview of the facts we know about this COVID-19 variant!
Should I be Concerned?
It is only natural to worry at this point. Still, it would be best if you did not forget that all viruses mutate and it is equally important to keep a laser focus on the changing behavior of the virus and its mutations. So far, evidence backs up the fact that it might spread faster; it does not cause severe illness! One should follow the precautions and safety measures strictly!
How fast is the Spread?
The first case of this variant came to light in September. So far, there have been a handful of cases in London. By December, two-thirds of the cases were due to this strain of the virus!
Is the Variation and Mutation Normal?
Yes, the virus detected in Wuhan has evolved this past year. According to researchers, that particular strain is also different from those found in other parts of the world. It has happened before, and these mutations are only a characteristic of the virus itself!
Will the Current Vaccine be Effective Against this Mutation?
To answer this question, we can say that the vaccine is likely to be effective or at least for now, it will act as the shield we all need! Vaccines train our immune system to attack different parts of the virus. Even though the spike has mutated, it is still the same virus so the vaccines should still work! We still need more information backed by evidence concerning this mutation, but as long as we don’t give up on the precautions and safety measures, we are good to go!