Photo: The Canadian Press
Scientists say it’s normal for small changes or mutations in the genetic alphabet to occur when the virus propagates.
Only a few months after the discovery of a new coronavirus in China in March last year, a mutation called D614G emerged and became easier to spread. It soon became the dominant version in the world.
Coronaviruses are more genetically diversified, and health officials say the main reason is the high incidence of new cases. With each new infection, the virus is given the opportunity to mutate when making a copy of itself, threatening to undo the progress made so far to control the pandemic.
Let’s take a look at some known variants of the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this variant is believed to have first appeared in the United Kingdom in September.
It is currently reported in at least 30 countries, including Canada, which was first discovered in Ontario on Boxing Day.
According to the CDC, it’s much easier to spread. Early reports found no evidence to suggest that this mutant affects the severity of the disease or the effectiveness of the vaccine, but British scientists found that it killed compared to other variants. ..
The CDC website states that this variant was first identified in a sample dating back to early October in Nelson Mandelabay, South Africa.
It was confirmed in Zambia in late December, at which point it appeared to be a major variant of the country. It was first discovered on January 8th in Alberta, Canada.
Currently, there is no evidence to suggest that this mutation has any effect on the severity of the disease.
However, some laboratory tests suggest that the mutant may be less susceptible to antibody drugs and recoverable plasma (blood rich in antibodies from COVID-19 survivors).
The variant was first reported by the National Institute of Infectious Diseases in Japan in four travelers from Brazil and was discovered in the United States at the end of January, CDC said.
One case of this variant has been reported in Ontario, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.
The CDC states that it is highly infectious and can reinfect people.
There are some suggestions that Brazilian variants, like South African variants, are less susceptible to treatment.
One case of this variant, first identified in Nigeria, was detected in British Columbia and is associated with patients who traveled to that country.
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