As predicted, new versions have already appeared in some parts of the world, while humanity struggles with the well-known coronavirus.
What is known about the new type of coronavirus?
The most common version in the UK is known as B.1.1.7, which was discovered to have 17 genetic changes inside and accounted for about 60% of COVID-19 cases, in December.
Although the new COVID-19 B117 virus is highly concentrated in London, it has already spread throughout the UK, which is the source of cases in Denmark, the Netherlands, and Australia (according to statistics provided by the authoritative Nextstrai project on epidemiological statistics).
Moreover, new versions of the virus have also been found in South Africa and Brazil (501.V2; Brazil P1). Scientists are more concerned with the South African version, also known as B.1.351, which, unlike other versions, is spreading faster due to the N501Y mutation.
Mutations often damage the virus, and some changes can make it more dangerous. These modified variants are dangerous because of their ability to spread rapidly, they are more stable, they can stay in the air or on the surface longer, increase the possibility of infection, and, as in the case of the previous infection, the elderly and people with chronic diseases are now at risk.
Therefore, an increase in the total number of infected people is not excluded, which, of course, will have a negative impact on public health.
How does the new virus develop?
The mutation affects the virus, causing the infection to attach more tightly to cells in the nose, lungs, and other parts of the body, causing an invasive version of COVID-19.
The following symptoms are more common in the new variant of COVID-19 Headache
- Muscle pain
- Breathing difficulties
- Loss of appetite
Loss of smell or taste is less common in infected people.
How fast is it spreading?
The modified version of the virus is thought to have either been found in a patient in the UK or imported from a country that has a low ability to control coronavirus mutations.
It was first discovered in September. About a quarter of the cases reported in London in November nearly two-thirds of those reported in mid-December were due to the virus mutation. Most cases of COVID-19 recorded in Eastern and Southern England are attributed to the mutated version. Scientists are now trying to calculate how fast these new versions are spreading. Apparently, B117 spreads twice as fast as the virus caused in Wuhan. In other words, this new infection is spreading quite fast and can be much more dangerous than the original version.
How to protect yourself from accessed versions?
Scientists encourage you to take the same measures as the ones during the initial variant.
Stay away from public places, especially closed places
- Disinfect surfaces and objects that you touch frequently
- Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth
- When sneezing, close your nose and mouth with your elbow
- Wash your hands often
- Wear a mask
In case of symptoms, consult a doctor․ If necessary, get tested.
To sum up, we see that the modified versions of the coronavirus continue to spread and, moreover, they are spreading at a fairly high speed and can be even more dangerous than the original COVID-19.