As the world is working hard towards finding a vaccine for the sars-Cov-2 or the novel Coronavirus, new reports from the UK have revealed the identification of a new variant of the COVID-19 in a few cases. Here’s what we know about the UK variant.
The most important material in a virus is its RNA. Viruses mutate in the body of the host for longer survival. During this mutation, there can be addition, deletion or modification of the genetic material which sometimes make the sequence of the viruses from their original self. This is what has basically happened in the UK and the most frightening fact is that it has already started to spread to other countries as well.
Is the New UK Coronavirus Variant Contagious Than the Old One?
- A. Yes
- B. No
Studies from the UK states that the new variant is 70% more contagious than the novel Coronavirus. This means that the new virus easily spreads and causes infection at a faster rate than the Coronavirus we know. But, the severity of the new variant is still unclear since the structure of the variant has so far been predicted only mathematically. While sometimes the mutation can reduce the severity of the virus, certain variants can emerge to be a potential threat for the host.
A virus attaches itself to the host through the spike protein. The vaccines that are being readied are formulated in accordance to the type of spike protein in Coronaviruses. The new UK variant raises questions on how the already formulated vaccines would behave with the newly mutated virus. At the same time, it would be random to conclude that the vaccines might have no effect on the new UK variant. However, the precautionary measures such as wearing masks, washing hands, using sanitizers, and maintaining social distancing are all in place and are very much required to battle any kind of virus.
Recent news from South Africa suggests that there is also a South African variant of the virus that has been detected in Corona positive cases.