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B.1.1.7: Is a New Variant Of COVID-19 more deadly?

covid-19 new variant

New Variant of COVID-19 has discovered in the UK and within a short period of time, it has caught everyone’s attention. Britain has pushed many of its regions in a strict fourth-tier lockdown. Numerous countries are banning flights from the UK.

You must be thinking that what is the reason that it has terrified the world that much? Because in this whole tenure of coronavirus its several mutations have come and stayed but what is the thing that is differentiating it from other variants.

Detection

The new strain which has sought the world’s attention is known as B.1.1.7. It was detected by the Covid-19 Genomics Consortium (Cog-UK) the organization tested approximately 15,000 COVID-19 samples.

The general method that scientists used to detect this new strain is a 3-gene PCR test. Due to their efforts, the world could know about this new variant and can take measures to halt it on time.

Mutations In Its Spike Domain

This time the virus has underwent certain mutations which are affecting its spike proteins. Its spikes are essential in terms that they help to invade the host cell.

Scientists are researching over the mutations B.1.1.7 has come up with. Among its numerous mutations, two are remarkable for its hype those include N501Y and H69/V70 deletion. N501Y mutation can increase the binding affinity of the virus to a human call. H69/V70 deletion has the potential to resist antibodies against it through antibody resistance mechanism.

Rapidly Increasing Cases

According to the BBC News, till November only a quarter of cases were from new variant. But by the mid of December, this stat reached up to two-third among all positive COVID-19 cases.

On Saturday 18 December at Downing Street briefing, Chief Scientific Officer Sir Patrick Vallance said that the new variant now has accounted for 60% of all cases in London from 28% in mid-November.

The most terrifying fact was the one that Professor Whitty brought in the same briefing. According to him, the virus is multiplying by 2 every week in some parts of the country.

Is B.1.1.7 A Deadly Virus?

Till now there is no concrete information on the effectiveness of B.1.1.7 variant of COVID-19. Whether it is more harmful than the current stains or not. Will current vaccination will work against it or not?

Apart from the above-mentioned information, there are several questions about the characteristics of this new strain. No doubt that the researchers are giving their best to find the answers.

Source: BBC

Written by HealthRadar360

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