COVID-19 Updates

New version of COVID-19 more infectious but not fatal

Corona virus entered the world in 2019, emerged in China and took over the world within no time. The disease affected almost all the countries and the world and lost many lives this year.

A number of theories came regarding the pandemic but still no one succeeded to fully understand the disease and its cure. Every other time the researchers find something new about the disease.

Now, an international team of researchers has found strong evidence that the new version of the coronavirus is more infectious but it is not much pathogenic as compared to its previous form.

In their study, the global researchers said that a new version of coronavirus has spread from Europe to the United States (US), adding that the new mutation makes the virus more likely to infect people but does not seem to make them any sicker than earlier variations of the virus.

According to the report written by, biologist Bette Korber of Los Alamos National Laboratory and colleagues “Our global tracking data show that the G614 variant in Spike has spread faster than D614,”We interpret this to mean that the virus is likely to be more infectious,” they added. “Interestingly, we did not find evidence of G614 impact on disease severity.”

 “The current work suggests that while the G614 variant may be more infectious, it is not more pathogenic. There is a hope that as SARS-CoV-2 infection spreads, the virus might become less pathogenic,” he said in a statement.

The team tested samples taken from patients across Europe and the US and sequenced the genomes. They compared these genome sequences to what’s been shared publicly. Comparing these sequences helped them draw a map of the spread of the two forms.

“Through March 1, 2020, the G614 variant was rare outside of Europe, but by the end of March it had increased in frequency worldwide,” they wrote.

Even when the D614 form had caused widespread epidemics, in places such as Wales and Nottingham in England, as well as in Washington state, G614 took over once it appeared, they found.

“The increase in G614 frequency often continues well after stay-at-home orders are in place and past the subsequent two-week incubation period,” they added. There are a few exceptions, including the Santa Clara, California, area and Iceland, where the older, D614 form was never replaced by the newer, G variant.

According to researchers, the new version is three to nine times more infectious and seems to multiply faster in the upper respiratory tract the nose, sinuses and throat which would explain why it passes around more easily.

But tests on 1,000 hospitalized coronavirus patients in Britain showed those infected with the new version did not fare any worse than those who caught the original strain.

David Montefiore of Duke University and colleagues tested the virus in the lab. “We were able to test whether the G form of the virus was more infectious than the D form,” “All the results agreed that the G form was three to nine times more infectious than the D form,” 

They now have the experimental evidence that supports the fact that the newer form of the virus may be even more readily transmitted than the original form. Whether or not that conclusion is ultimately confirmed, it highlights the value of what were already good ideas: to wear masks and to maintain social distancing.

Other mutations often go along with the G614 mutation, but it’s not clear what effect they have. “The earliest sequence we detected that carried all four mutations was sampled in Italy on Feb. 20,” they wrote. “Within days, this haplotype was sampled in many countries in Europe.”

The G614 mutation can be neutralized by convalescent serum, the blood product taken from people who have recovered from a coronavirus infection, Saphire said. Her team tested blood donated by six coronavirus survivors in San Diego.

“We looked to see whether the range of antibodies in the blood of the people was just as effective at neutralizing the new virus as the old virus and it was. It was, in fact, a little better,” she said.

“That was a relief.”

The researchers had worried that if the new mutation made the virus grow faster and to higher levels, it would take more immune system effort to neutralize it. More work is needed, of course, to solidify the findings and to see what the changes mean for the epidemic and for patients, the researchers said.

“There are potential consequences for the vaccines. We are actively investigating those possible consequences,” “Montefiore said.

And, of course, they’re keeping an eye out for other mutations. “We might have dodged a bullet with this particular mutation, Saphire said. “However, that is not to say that another mutation couldn’t come on top of this one,” she added.

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Khurram Jamil - Digital Marketer By Profession & Blogger By Passion. Food Lover By Choice

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