Reports of new coronovirus strains from the UK and South Africa that begin to spread more easily cause alarm, but virus experts say if this is the case or not, they pose a concern for vaccines or more. Causes serious illness.
Viruses develop naturally as they move from populations, some compared to others. This is one of the reasons why we need a fresh flu shot every year.
New variants, or strains, of the virus that cause COVID-19 have been seen almost since it was first found in China about a year ago.
On Saturday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced new sanctions due to new tensions, and several EU countries banned or limited some flights from the UK to try to limit any spread.
What is known about the situation here.
What is it about recently found stress?
Health experts in the UK and US said that stress infects more easily than others, but there is no evidence yet that it is more deadly.
The British government’s chief scientific adviser, Patrick Valence, said that stress was “rapidly escalating and becoming the dominant version”, with more than 60% of infections occurring in London in December.
The strain is also because it has a lot of mutations – about two dozen – and some are on spikey proteins that the virus uses to attach to and infect cells. The spike that targets current vaccines.
Dr. Ravi Gupta, who studies the virus at the University of Cambridge in England, said, “I am worried about this, but it is too soon to know for sure how important it will prove to be.” He and other researchers posted a report on one of its websites, which scientists use to quickly share events, but the paper has not been formally reviewed or published in a journal.
How do these new strains occur?
Viruses often acquire small changes of a letter or two in their genetic alphabet through normal development. Slightly modified stresses can become most common in any country or region, because it is a stress that has previously taken hold there or because the events of the “super spreader” helped provoke it.
A major concern is when a virus mutates by altering the proteins on its surface to help drugs or the immune system escape.
“Emerging evidence” suggests that may have started with the new coronovirus, Trevor Bedford, biologist and genetics specialist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. “We have now seen the emergence and spread of several variants” that suggest this, and some antibodies show resistance to treatment, he said.
What other strains have emerged?
In April, researchers in Sweden found a virus with two genetic changes, which seemed to make it nearly twice as contagious, Gupta said. He said there were about 6,000 cases worldwide, most of them in Denmark and England.
Many forms of that tension have now changed. Information was received in some people from mink farms in Denmark. A new South African tension has seen the first two changes, along with some others.
Gupta said there are two changes and more in the UK, including eight spike proteins. It has been called “differing under investigation” because its importance is not yet known.
The strain was identified in southeastern England in September and has since been roaming the area, a World Health Organization official told the BBC on Sunday.
Will this reduce the vaccine?
Probably not, former US Food and Drug Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday.
Vivek Murthy, Surgeon General Nominee for President Elect Joe Biden, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday that “there is no reason to believe that vaccines that have been developed will not be effective against this virus as well.” “
Vaccines cause widespread reactions by the immune system, which are equivalent to spike proteins, several experts have noted.
On CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday, there is a possibility that the new vaccines will be resistant to existing vaccines, but not “unforgivable,” the chief science adviser to the U.S. government’s vaccine delivery effort, Dr. Monsep Saloi said.
“So far, I don’t think there has been any single version that would be resistant,” he said. “I think it is unlikely to have escaped vaccine immunity specifically in the UK.”
Bedford wrote on Twitter, “I’m not worried” because the genetic code will require a lot of changes, not just one or two mutations to be reduced. Vaccines can recover over time, as changes occur, and there should be more monitoring of the changes, he wrote.
Murthy said the new stress does not change public health advice to wear masks, wash hands and maintain social distance.