Amid the havoc created by the ongoing pandemic caused by the Novel Coronavirus, a new mutated strain of the same family of the virus has been identifi
Amid the havoc created by the ongoing pandemic caused by the Novel Coronavirus, a new mutated strain of the same family of the virus has been identified in Great Britain. Although the virulence of the new strain seems to be less than the current strain now, the pathogenicity of the new strain seems to be way higher than the original strain that was first identified in Chinas’ Wuhan. Just when the situation was about to get under control in Britain, the identification of the new strain has yet once again put the whole healthcare system of Britain into a toss. The new strain of coronavirus is said to be seventy percent more transmissible than the original strain. Health Secretary of Britain Matt Hancock said that the World Health Organization (WHO) has been informed about the same. The UK scientists have been doing detailed research on the new strain. According to the reports, the new strain will have no effect on the efficacy of the vaccine.
Due to the increased pathogenicity of the new strain, there has been a sharp rise in the incoming of the coronavirus from almost sixty local authority areas and predominantly from the South of England. The country has seen an exponential rise in the cases in London, Kent, Essex, and Hertfordshire. The government officials have stated that although they are not having an exact idea about the extent of virulence this new strain carries but have decided to take decisive and swift action against the spread in order to control the prevailing situation. The Chief Medical Officer of England, Professor Chris Whittey has assured that the current swab tests that are being done to detect Coronavirus will also be able to detect the new strain. The changes and the mutations are being seen in the spike protein of the virus. The spike protein of the virus is the part that helps the virus to infect the host cell and the two vaccines – Ox-Az, being developed in the United Kingdom, and Sputnik V, developed by Russian Federation.
An expert at Birmingham University, Professor Alan Mcnally asked the public through BBC not to create hype around this new strain as just because the pathogenicity is increased, it doesn’t mean that the virulence is also increased. The professor also added that huge efforts are being put behind the research in characterising the new strain and understanding the cause behind its emergence. He added that it was of utmost importance to maintain calm and composure as a rational perception over the new strain is the need of the hour. He also explained that the emergence of the new strain is a result of the normal virus evolution where new variants of the same virus are expected to emerge and fade away with time.
The new strain of coronavirus has been detected in other countries like Spain, Sweden, Finland, Canada and now India has become the latest country to add its name to the list.