US-based researchers have found a new worrisome coronavirus variant in New York City (NYC). This news have sparked fear among locals because of the of stigma attached to the viral variants which have proven more deadly than the original virus.
According to researchers, this mutated coronavirus variant is new and different from the existing variants. It quickly invades the immune system and changes the effects of monoclonal antibodies treatments, if a person is going through any. There are high chances of this virus spreading to everywhere in Northeast and requiring an immediate response from health authorities.
This new coronavirus variant is named B.1.526 and it is mostly seen in people from New York City and its neighboring areas. This new virus somehow carries the similar mutation which was previously spotted in the South African Coronavirus (B.1.351). Because of this mutation, the response of the body to vaccine may also change and this is indeed a concerning point.
The research team from Columbia University Medical Center says that they detected an obvious increase the number of cases from December to February and within last two weeks, the cases increased up to 12.7%. The results of this study are not published in journal yet.
Recent studies confirm the efficacy of Pfizer vaccine with least number of side effects seen in people. But the emergence of mutated variants in the country, is worrisome arising questions on the efficiency of the vaccines, because these vaccines were prepared and tested as per original coronavirus strain and not any new variant.
US has the higest number of Covid-19 cases and deaths and this appearance of new covid-19 strain may increase these cases, if not controlled. Dr. David Ho from the
Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center (Columbia University) says that this new coronavirus variant is mostly likely to be ‘home grown’.
It is not new for the viruses to mutate, in fact every virus mutates all the times. The duration of a virus being around or the number of people it has infected directly affect the chances of these mutations.
There are millions of viral particles inside the body, in case of an infection and it is possible for some of them to be different than the others. The possibility of transmitting a viral particle that is mutated or original is still there. And sometimes these mutated viruses vanish on their own.
The problem arises when any mutation in a virus persists and manages to stabilizes itself in new host, and keeps on infecting more and more people. These types of mutated viruses which spread to a large number of people are called variants, which are similar to original virus but have some slight modifications which make them more virulent.
Emergence of these variants is not unusual but the worse effects that they cause in a host are worrying. It is also possible for these variants to surpass vaccines, medicines and other treatments which have worked effectively against the original strain.
U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have warned about the presence of new coronavirus variants in the country but any information on this new variant is not currently available.