As per the new research, the SARS-COV-2 aka COVID-19 is the virus that mutates into something deadlier and even scarier says scientists and researchers.
“Mutation, hearing the word sends a sense of chill,” said a research book, and in Late February, Nature Microbiology published an article saying ‘Ill-informed discussions of mutation thrive during virus outbreaks and we are seeing the same now”.
But mutations are not a bad thing as it is part and parcel of virus lifecycle and those changes would not only mean bad things. As some mutations can also bring in a weaker strain of the virus.
The new Coronavirus is an RNA virus where it collects genetic material packed inside the protein shield to make copies of itself. RNA viruses unline DNA viruses undergo several mutations.
“In the world of RNA viruses, change is the norm. We expect RNA viruses to change frequently. That’s just their nature,” said Dr. Mark Schleiss, a pediatric infectious disease specialist and investigator with the Institute for Molecular Virology at the University of Minnesota.
SARS-COV-2 is no different from RNA virus and we have seen it mutating from the past couple of months. But the current virus mutation is of slow pace where we can notice some similarities with the original virus says Dr. Schleiss.
“The sequences of the original isolates from China are very close to those in viruses circulating in the U.S. and the rest of the world,” said Dr. John Rose, a senior research scientist in the department of pathology at Yale Medicine who’s helping develop a COVID-19 vaccine.
A new study from Scripps indicated that the virus has mutated to a deadlier version. Named “the D614G mutation” which has occurred in its spike protein has helped the virus to infect our cells very easily.
In total, the researchers have found over 14 mutations of virus and released their findings helping the ones who are finding the vaccine. Thus, the new strain of the virus is more virulent and deadlier and scientists are now observing how the virus behaves on the body.
It’s still unclear whether the mutation causes more severe illness or increases the risk of death. It’s also unclear whether the new mutation infects and sickens people differently. At this time, the illness and hospitalization rates caused by the new variation seems to be similar.
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