Covid-19: How different are the strains from each other
The every-evolving Covid-19 virus and the strainsImage: The Bridge Chronicle

Covid-19: How different are the strains from each other

While the new variant has caused fear among countries and people, this perspective suggests that the fight against Covid-19 might not be as difficult as it was thought to be.

While there is a sudden rise in the number of Covid-19 cases, the fight against the virus continues. Despite the availability of a vaccine, there seems to be a resurgence of case count, leaving the authorities perplexed. But according to recent findings, there seems to be a sense of relief. An expert has recently found that the different strains of SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing Covid1-19 are not highly variable.

This fosters that the year-long studies and development will not become redundant due to the evolution of different strains. The opinion piece was published in the magazine 'Scientific American'. Evolutionary microbiologist, and author Vaughn Cooper, said that the evidence suggests that SARS-CoV-2 variants that have emerged so far share similar combinations of mutations.

While the new variant has caused fear among countries and people, this perspective suggests that the fight against Covid-19 might not be as difficult as it was thought. This also helps foster the belief that vaccines developed against the vaccine might actually help in working against the virus.

The fear associated with the variant virus to date was that despite vaccination and herd immunity, the efforts would be in vain if the virus was to continue mutilating.

Studying how SARS-CoV-2 is evolving, Cooper, who is a professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in the US, said that it can now be speculated that the virus is beginning to run out of new and major adaptations.

However, warning against the mutilation of the virus, Cooper says that the chances of the virus mutilating are more with more infections. Hence it is important to keep following the protective measures.

"It's also critical that we make significant investments in building an early-warning system to detect new SARS-CoV-2 variants as well as many other emerging pathogens, both known and yet to be discovered," Cooper wrote in the article published in 'Scientific American' last week.

The Union Health Ministry in India last week said that a total of 771 variants of concerns (VOCs) and a new double mutant variant of Covid-19 had been detected in a total of 10,787 positive samples shared by the states and union territories.

It now appears that a mutation in the double mutant variant seems to be similar to a mutation found in the B.1.351 (South Africa) and P.1 (Brazil) variants, the BBC reported citing Jeremy Kamil, a virologist at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Shreveport in the US.

(With inputs from IANS)

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