Columbus (WCMH) — Researchers at Ohio State University said two new strains of COVID-19 were identified in central Ohio and raised new questions about how they affect people throughout the state. ..
The researchers said mutations in the COVID-19 virus were expected and have been studied since the pandemic began last March.
“We’ve been looking for variations, and it’s normal for the virus to mutate,” said Dr. Peter Moller, co-author of the study and chief scientific officer at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Told. “This is not a new discovery. The virus mutates.”
Doctors have discovered two new strains of the virus here in Columbus.
The first is a strain similar to that already found in South Africa and the United Kingdom. The second is a new strain that has not yet been identified anywhere in the United States.
“Both of these findings relate to a US-based strain called the’20G’strain, but there are differences other than the core elements of the 20G strain,” explains Dr. Dan Jones, Vice Chairman of the Molecular Pathology Division. To do.
The findings will lead to some questions in the future. As if the current test procedure can effectively identify the new strain.
“Because this is sequencing, this is a special test that needs to be performed, and PCR tests alone cannot reveal the presence of these mutations,” Jones explains.
Specific PCR levels help researchers identify the tests they will study in the future.
“There are some suggestions from some other variants that it may be possible to do that depending on how positive the PCR is on the first test,” Jones said. “So we are actually investigating the problem now and see if it helps identify which patients need to be sequenced in the future.”
Another question in Central Ohio is how new variants affect those previously infected with COVID-19.
“A single change in a virus, according to our knowledge in the past, generally does not lead to a loss of protection against the associated virus,” Jones said.
Similar variants are evolving in many states across the country, but experts say that previously unidentified strains quickly became the predominant strains locally last month.
“Different states have reported the emergence of different viruses,” Jones said. “Because these are common mutations that occur in the background of different strains, we can see that they are independent and are likely to have the same mutation in different locations.”
“When thinking about what a virus does, it’s important to understand the full zip code, not the single address,” Moller warns. “It’s also important to understand if the vaccine remains effective. To date, there is no data that the vaccine is ineffective against these strains.”
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