Check out all the details about the new mutant Corona Virus strain in the UK below:
There is news that a new variant of SARS-CoV-2 is “spreading & growing rapidly” in the UK. due to the same reason, India and many other countries have banned all the flights coming in from the UK. The variant was identified in genomic surveillance by COVID-19 Genomics UK (COG-UK), a consortium that analyses genome sequencing data from the UK. COG-UK is the largest contributor to the global Covid-19 database GISAID.
What is the variant like?
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. The preliminary analysis states 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. “Efforts are underway to confirm whether or not any of these mutations are contributing to increased transmission,” the consortium said.
However, it also emphasized that there is “no evidence” that the variant is more likely to cause severe disease or mortality. “… But we are continuing investigations to understand this better,” it said. It said mortality is a “lagging indicator” and it will “continually monitor this over the coming weeks”
Will the transmissibility rate increase?
The experts say that the new variant might potentially increase the reproduction number of the disease by up to 0.9. It said it has “moderate confidence” that the new variant “demonstrates a substantial increase in transmissibility compared to other variants”.
The expert body, however, concluded that there is “currently insufficient data to draw any conclusion” on the underlying mechanism of increased transmissibility”, the age distribution of cases and disease severity. It has said 4 deaths in around 1,000 cases have been identified, but “further work is needed to compare this fatality rate with comparable data sets”.
Mutations are natural, whenever a virus replicates and circulates in the human population it happens, at a rate of around one to two mutations per month in the global phylogeny.
In fact, for SARS-CoV-2, COG-UK says that there are currently around 4,000 mutations in the spike protein. The variant D614G was earlier the dominant strain because it spread very easily.
Will it impact the vaccine?
Experts say: “There is currently no evidence to suggest that the Pfizer vaccine would not protect people against the new strain,