A team of researchers from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale has identified a third native strain of the virus known as novel coronavirus, and says it may be the most easily transmitted to date, the Daily Mail reported.
The virus is believed to have first appeared in Houston, Texas, in May 2020.
Scientists say the mutated virus is most common in the upper Midwest of the United States and may be responsible for at least 50 percent of cases in the United States, but it has not yet spread widely in other countries.
Only one month!
There are at least seven novel coronavirus variants around the world, scientists say: not surprising
The first month of 2021 is nearly half over.
In the past half month, the situation of the new world champion epidemic has continued to deteriorate, with alarming numbers.
More than 90 million cases have been confirmed worldwide, including more than 10 million new cases alone.
Since the middle of December 2020, the development speed of the epidemic has not decreased but increased, which is not unrelated to the discovery of a novel coronavirus with stronger transmission power than the original virus in many countries within a month.
At present, how many kinds of mutant novel coronavirus were discovered in many countries altogether?
What characteristics do they have?
These viruses, has spread to which countries and regions, and what kind of impact on the anti-epidemic countries?
18 variants of novel coronavirus have been found in a woman in Russia
Recently, Russian scholars discovered 18 kinds of mutated novel coronavirus in the body of a woman with low immunity, part of the mutation and Britain appear new mutation virus is the same, there are 2 kinds of the mutation with the Danish mink carried by coronavirus.
The woman, 47, suffered from lymphoma, Russian newspaper Izvestia reported Monday.
In April 2020, the woman was infected with novel coronavirus during a chemotherapy treatment.
Since then, she has had regular nucleic acid tests, which were positive until Sept. 9.
According to introduction, the female body appeared in a part of the mutated novel coronavirus with previously observed immune function of weak patients with the same mutation virus, also and the UK appeared in the same new mutation virus.
In addition, the two mutated viruses were also consistent with the mutant novel coronavirus carried by Danish mink.
According to Konstantin Krutovsky, a professor in the Department of Genomics and Bioinformatics at the Federal University of Siberia, this work is the first to confirm the fact that “the long-term presence of novel coronavirus in an organism can lead to the occurrence of a large number of mutations.”
At the same time, he said, it was too early to tell how fast the “Russian” strain was spreading, because this was the only case.
At least seven variants of novel coronavirus have been found worldwide
It has spread to 70 countries and regions
Since December 14, 2020, there have been at least 7 variants of novel coronavirus in the world, including 2 varieties from the United Kingdom, 1 species from South Africa, 1 species from Nigeria, 1 species from Japan and Brazil, and 2 species from the United States.
— December 14, 23, 2020: UK
On 14 December 2020, the Government of the United Kingdom informed the WHO of the discovery of a new mutant virus in the country.
The virus, later named variant B.1.1.7, first appeared in Kent, southeast England, on September 20, 2020.
While there is not enough evidence to suggest that this variant of the virus causes more severe disease, scientists say the possibility has not been ruled out.
This virus “change” out of the “trick”, is to spread the ability to become strong!
It is estimated that its transmission capacity is about 70% higher than the original strain.
Shortly thereafter, another mutant novel coronavirus was discovered in the UK on December 23, 2020, which is more transmissibility than the previous one!
For a time, European panic, stepped up to cut off the traffic with Britain.
A mutant novel coronavirus found in the UK has been found in 50 countries and territories, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on January 13, 2021.
— December 18, 2020: South Africa
Local time December 18, 2020, South African Health Minister Mukaiz revealed that South Africa’s novel coronavirus has been mutated, and “is making young and healthy people seriously ill.”
As for the characteristics of the mutated virus, Muketz said: “The speed and infectiousness of transmission is significantly increased, and will make young people more susceptible!”
More worryingly, the virus, detected in South Africa, has also spread around the world.
The WHO stated on 13 January 2021 that the mutant novel coronavirus has been found in 20 countries and regions worldwide.
— Nigeria, December 24, 2020
The African Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on December 24, 2020 that a new mutant novel coronavirus has emerged in Nigeria, which is not related to the mutated virus previously found in the United Kingdom and South Africa.
The director of the African Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Kengesun, said later that there was no evidence of a direct link between the mutated virus and the surge in cases in Nigeria and that more samples were planned to be studied.
— January 10, 2021: Japan, Brazil
On January 10, 2021, the Japanese government said it had detected a new variant of novel coronavirus, which is different from that found in the United Kingdom and South Africa, in four passengers who had entered Japan.
All four were from Brazil.
Not long after that, Brazilian researchers found a similar variant called novel coronavirus in Brazil.
Takashi Waki, director of Japan’s National Institute of Infectious Diseases, said it was not yet clear how contagious the virus was or how severe it would be after infection, and further studies were being carried out.
— January 13, 2021: United States
On January 13, 2021, scientists at Ohio State University College of Medicine released a report that they have identified two novel coronavirus variants that may have originated in the United States.
One of the viruses quickly became the dominant Novel Coronavirus strain in Columbus, the state, in a three-week period from late December 2020 to early January 2021, the report said.
Currently, the research team is continuing to study the two mutated viruses.
Continued development of the epidemic
Scientist: The mutation is not surprising
Currently, researchers in many countries around the world are monitoring the genetic changes of the virus.
As the epidemic progresses, more and more mutated viruses are likely to emerge.
While the slightly science-fiction term “virus mutation” may sound creepy, scientifically speaking, it’s not surprising that viruses mutate.
As far back as 21 December 2020, WHO Director-General Tedros Tedros said of the mutated virus in the UK, “It is natural and expected that the virus will mutate over time.”
At the same time, the WHO is urging people not to panic.
Prevention and control, no less
If not actively respond to the risk of catastrophe
However, the prevention and control measures that should be done can not be less.
WHO chief scientist Swaminathan stressed that efforts should be made to slow the spread of the virus.
Because the more the virus spreads, the greater the chance of mutation.
The virus can not be allowed to spread out of control in the population, otherwise, it can not reduce the incidence of genetic mutations.
In the United Kingdom, South Africa, Nigeria and other countries have reported the discovery of mutant novel coronavirus, many countries quickly took measures to deal with, including the ban from the United Kingdom and South Africa flights.
In addition, experts urged people in all countries to wear masks, practice hand hygiene, social distance and other basic precautions.
So many variations
Is the vaccine still useful?
Since the emergence of the mutated virus, “whether the vaccine is useful or not” has become a very concerned issue in all countries.
According to the latest advice from experts from the Joint Committee on Vaccination, the mutated virus found in the UK is more infectious, but the data suggest that existing vaccines are not less effective against it.
As for the mutated virus found in South Africa, South African medical experts have previously said that existing vaccines such as Pfizer and Oxford may not be effective against it.
However, no official conclusion has been reached, research is ongoing and data could be available within weeks.
Hopefully, it will be good news.
It will still be difficult for some time to come
With many countries reporting mutations and winter in the northern hemisphere, the “spring” of the global epidemic still seems far away.
Michael Ryan, WHO’s health emergency programme manager, said on January 13 that a combination of factors in the Northern Hemisphere, particularly in Europe and North America, such as cold indoors and increased social gatherings, would increase the spread of the virus in many countries.
“The future is likely to be much worse,” Michael Ryan said gravely.