There are serious health cases that we should worry about, and one of them is the growing number of COVID-19 variants. India's newly-discovered coronavirus variant, the "double mutant," has been spotted in the country after analyzing several samples.
This is a much-dreaded scene for public health, where two mutations of the same virus combine. This will likely become a much more infectious type where vaccines' efficiency could potentially lessen.
What Should We Know About the "Double Mutant" COVID-19 Variant?
Out of the 18 states in India, 10,787 samples were gathered by the experts, Business Today reported. From those numbers, 736 cases of the UK variant, 34 South African variant cases, and only one case of Brazillian variant have been recorded by the health officials.
However, the experts could not see any connection of the surge of cases in India to the different coronavirus variants. On Wednesday, Mar. 24, India announced 47,262 new cases and 275 deaths on a single day. This could be the highest number of cases at the moment.
The BBC reported that 10 laboratories that operate under the health ministry of India have been working on the samples. The Indian SARS-COV-2 Consortium on Genomics (INSACOG), the unified lab group, used genomic sequencing, where mapping the genetic code of the virus is involved.
While virus mutation normally occurs, the dangers that they pose to the public vary on one another.
For instance, the South African and the UK variants transformed into deadly coronavirus when they underwent several COVID-19 mutations.
Shahid Jameel, a virologist said that the double mutation involves the spike protein of the virus used in penetrating human cells. The risk of the virus inhibiting the immune system will be much higher than usual.
Meanwhile, the Indian government ran an analysis of the samples gathered from Maharashtra. Later, it was revealed that the sample mutations, E484Q and L452R have increased compared to the cases last December 2020.
Why Should We Worry About Coronavirus' Double Mutation?
When the virus undergoes mutation in the spike gene, there is a good chance that it can escape the effects of antibody neutralization. This also means that it can now infect people at a faster rate.
What's dangerous about this situation is the likelihood of the virus reinfecting a person who just recovered from COVID-19. However, the experts noted that mild cases of reinfection will happen compared to the first-hand infection since many people have already received the vaccine or just recovered from the previous COVID-19 case, providing them with antibodies that can fight severe forms of the infection.
Dr. Jeremy Kamil, a virologist based in Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Shreveport, stated that even though the double mutations only produce mild cases, reinfections can be a way to spread more COVID-19.
With that said, continuous safety precautions are still required, especially for seniors and immunocompromised, who are the most vulnerable of all.
This article is owned by Tech Times.
Written by Joen Coronel