Explained: The New Variant of SARS CoV 2

Right on cue, the SARS CoV 2 virus in a stunning reenactment of itself, presented a new strain of itself in the United Kingdom with a reported 70% increased transmission rate thereby sending world governments into a spiral, again.

Forgive me for blaming a microorganism, but this news came as a wave of gloom that splashed over us as we were ready to enter the New Year and leave the horrors of 2020 behind, it seems as if 2020 was not done yet.

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Right, away with the hogwash, the new strain of the coronavirus was reported in the United Kingdom where it contributed to a sudden spike in reported cases, upon analysis the strain is 70% more transmissible though till now It does not seem to be more deadly or resistant, scientists believe the vaccines will work on this variant as well as they did on its original form. This variant binds well with protein receptors, hence the increased transmission. It has been named N501Y

Virus mutations occur when the virus makes a mistake while replicating itself, it is commonplace and new variants of the virus have already been reported across the world. A mutation means an alteration in genetic material. In an RNA virus such as SARS-CoV-2, proteins are made of a sequence of amino acids. Such a virus contains some 30,000 ‘base pairs’, which are like bricks placed next to each other to form a structure. An alteration in this base can be a mutation, effectively changing the shape and behavior of the virus. Till now there have been 2 strains believed to be more transmissible. There are speculations in the scientific community that this new strain might affect test results done using the Polymerase chain reaction (RT PCR) tests.

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