The novel coronavirus has, of late, gained an ability to mutate. And has become a bane for the entire human race.
It’s the 29th of January, and a total of 58 countries have reported mutated strains of the virus.
In Brazil, researchers have discovered patients with two different strains of the virus.
In the United States, first cases of the South Africa strain have been discovered. And in the United Kingdom, experts say, the vaccine may not be that effective on foreign strains.
The mutations are spreading, and infections are rising. And new challenges are emerging with each passing day.
Here’s a report.
In Brazil, researchers have discovered patients with two different strains of the virus. The patients — both in their 30s were infected — with the first variant in November.
They have simultaneously tested postive for the second variant.
The symptoms were mild, and the patients did not require hospitalisation. But scientists say the cases underscore the many variants that could be circulating in Brazil.
They add their co-existence in the same body could speed-up mutations of other variants.
In the United States, cases of the South Africa variant have been detected for the first time. They were reported in two adults from South Carolina — with no travel history and no connection to each other.
The cases have put the focus on America’s capacity to detect emerging strains.
Health experts are worried — they are asking americans to be more vigilant.
Dr Brannon Traxler, South Carolina Interim Director of Public Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC), to this end, said, “The arrival of Covid-19, of any variant in South Carolina, including this one, is yet another reminder that the fight against this deadly virus is far from over and we all must be more vigilant about taking the prevention steps that we know work.”
In the United Kingdom, Novavax has declared that its vaccine is 89 per cent effective on the highly contagious
variant detected in the country. But the South African strain is also spreading in the UK.
Notably, the vaccine is not really effective when it comes to this strain.
Paul Heath, chief investigator of the UK Novavax trial from St George’s, University of London, to this end, said, “Now, not quite as effective as it is against the UK variant and it may therefore mean that modifying the spike protein or indeed adding a separate component to the vaccine will now be considered and Novavax are now doing that, and that may be the answer to deal completely with, for example, the South African variant.”
As the coronavirus continues to mutate, many virologists are looking at ways to help them get ahead of the virus. And we shall wait.