The worrisome impact of Coronavirus mutations

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impact of Coronavirus mutations

Hundreds of mutations to the virus which provokes Coronavirus have been detected by researchers in the United Kingdom and the United States. However, it has not yet been found whether this virus spread will come to a full stop with any vaccine or antidote created as this virus is like any other virus. It mutates.

The question which crops up is to what degree these mutations can change the severity of Covid 19?

Using a database called the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID), researchers from the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, have been keeping track of the very ‘spike’ of the virus. Preliminary research from the US has proposed one mutation – D614G in particular which is prevailing and can make the disease more contagious.

For this purpose, coronavirus patients from Sheffield were tested. A larger amount of the virus was found in their samples but there had been no concrete evidence to whether these patients were more affected.

The effects of these mutations are highly questionable. Another study from University College London discovered 198 repetitive mutations to the virus.

According to Professor Francois Balloux “Mutations in themselves are not a bad thing and there is nothing to suggest SARS-CoV-2 is mutating faster or slower than expected”. In a nutshell, the effect of these mutations is doubtful as it cannot be said for sure whether it is more or less deadly and infectious.

The University of Glasgow which also analyzed mutations has highlighted the spread of one type of virus only and said that the mutations “did not amount to different strains of the virus”.

Consequently, to understand the development of vaccines it is important to monitor small changes to the structure of the coronavirus. For example, if you take the ‘flu’ virus – it mutates so rapidly that its antidote or vaccine has to be adjusted yearly.

The impact of these mutations remains worrisome as NCB News confirms, “While some mutations in the virus’ genetic code are evident, it’s unclear what these changes mean for people if anything at all”.  

Dr. Robert Gallo confirms “no conclusions can be made about biology or functionality” of the virus based on this study.”

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