Scientists claim that variants of Delta COVID can be extinct in their own right and are already doing so in parts of the world.
Japan records only 140 cases per day, despite suffering from Delta strains only three months ago.
Japan withstood the largest COVID wave at the end of summer, with a peak of about 23,000 cases per day in August.
However, the waves suddenly stopped and almost completely disappeared. In the capital, Tokyo, only 16 new cases were recorded on Friday.
A team of Japanese genetic experts theorized that the sudden decline in the coronavirus was due to Delta processing its demise by mutation.
When a virus replicates, its genes cause random “copy errors” that change the composition of the virus over time.
Mutations can spread it more, dodge immunity, and cause serious illness.
However, in some cases, experts say these mutations are “dead ends in evolution.”
Researchers led by the National Institute of Genetics in Mishima, Japan, focused on nsp14, an error-correcting enzyme for the delta virus.
Here they discovered many genetic changes, followed by a sudden cessation of evolution.
Iro Inoue, a professor of genetics at the institute, said the virus had a hard time fixing the error and continuing to replicate.
It eventually caused its own “self-destruction,” Inoue said. The Japan Times..
“I was literally shocked to see the findings,” Inoue said.
“The Japanese delta variant was highly contagious and excluded other variants.
“But as the mutations pile up, we believe it eventually became a defective virus and couldn’t make a copy of itself.
“Given that the number of cases has not increased, I think that at some point such mutations, we went straight toward natural extinction.”
Inoue said the virus is still widespread if the Delta is “healthy.”
The highly infectious COVID strain has sprouted many “children” (scientifically called strains) that share similar characteristics.
It is the most predominant type of coronavirus in the world and is first thought to have caused turmoil in India in late 2020.
delta From late 2019, it was much more contagious than the original “Wuhan” Chinese strain of the virus.
When Other variations of Delta It has been shown to be less symptomatic, have mutations that escape immunity, or spread more rapidly.
After dominating the world, Dr. Simon Clark, Head of Biomedical Sciences and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Reading, UK, gave a figurative explanation of how the Delta disappears.
He told the sun: “The virus accumulates so many mutations that it cannot replicate.
“When infected with such a virus, it just disappears. It’s like a person who never has children, their genetic material stops, and the end of the road.
“That doesn’t mean that everyone else will stop giving birth.”
Clark said this was likely what happened at SARS. This is another type of coronavirus that caused two epidemics in Asia in the early 2000s.
In fact, the Japanese team discovered that when they mutated the nsp14 portion of the now extinct SARS virus, it could not replicate as the mutations piled up.
“Somehow we need to break the chain of transmission, and some mutations make the virus unviable — they are a dead end in evolution.
“But that only happens in a few cases.
“There are still a lot of coronaviruses that can infect people, and we do that until we have enough immunity or we can break the chain of infection. That’s what happened. It wasn’t so good so SARS When sending as COVID-19. “
The unexpected plunge in the case rate in Japan has become a hot topic.
According to other experts, this is a vaccine, with more than 75% of Japanese people having double jabs and face masks suppressing the virus.
Clark said: “I think it’s very difficult to believe that all COVID-19s in Japan have evolved into a dead end, more or less consistently at the same time. This seems like a strange suggestion.
“It seems much more likely that partial immunity by any means taken by the Japanese in public health has reduced the number of infections.
“Of course, that doesn’t mean they stay low, as we’ve seen all over the world.”
Inoue admitted that without the Delta variant, there would be nothing in Japan that would “keep away” new variants.
At this point, experts say it is still too optimistic to believe that the COVID virus will decrease globally as in Japan.
“Opportunities aren’t zero, but that seems too optimistic for now,” he said.
This story originally appeared To the sun I duplicated it here with permission.
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