No one wanted to hear this in 2021 but viruses mutate. In fact, they mutate all the time.
I wasn’t aware of this myself. But, I found this during an interview of a vaccine expert at a Covid-19 Testing Laboratory in Bellaire.
The new COVID-19 variant has affected more than 45 countries. All this since its emergency in December 2020.
According to Public Health England, the SARS-CoV-2 variant is two times more contagious.
However, there has been no evidence so far that this new variant, also called B.1.1.7., is more lethal.
It is a rising concern among millions around the world currently. It is an alarming issue but there are chances that it might not be.
Why? Viruses change their genetic codes all the time. These changes are ‘mutations.’ Some mutations are so minor that they don’t matter. According to experts, viruses also become less infectious due to mutations.
These mutations occur because viruses try to escape their vaccine-elicited or natural immunity.
So far, research has shown that 23 mutations are found in B.1.1.7 lineage. Out of these mutations not all are of importance to the scientists.
Researchers and scientists have been paying attention to only 8 of these mutations. Why?
The reason is that these 8 mutations have spike proteins. These spike proteins help them attack the host body cells more successfully.
Scientists are worried that one or two of these mutations might be dangerous. How? These mutations can help the virus grab on to the host body cells more effectively.
Surprisingly, there has been one very dangerous mutation by the name ‘N501Y’. It holds on to the host body cell more tightly in comparison to any other mutation.
N501Y mutation is found in the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory research shows that 20 Pfizer vaccine recipients were tested. This test was against the N501Y mutation.
The new mutation was administered in the bodies of these people. There was no reduction spotted in the neutralization activity of the Pfizer vaccine.
This is good news for the vaccine experts and the general public. However, the scientists are still worried. That's because this mutation might change to be less susceptible to the vaccine.
There is a certain limitation to this study, as an article on CNN points out. According to an interview with Deborah Dunn-Walters the study was conducted in isolation.
This is a limitation of the study as per Dunn-Walters. That's because these mutations have a compound effect. For this reason, the study should not have been conducted in isolation. Rather, it should have been conducted together.
Experts are worried due to the future. They believe that next mutations of the virus might make it less susceptible to the vaccine. This might push the world to another alarming state again.
It is possible that certain people might need vaccination again. So we can establish herd immunity
However, there is still some advice that health experts are giving to the general public. Here are a few things you can do to save yourself and your loved one from contracting the new COVID-19 variant:
I had an interview with a researcher from a Covid-19 Testing Laboratory in Bellaire. According to the researcher, people have been ignoring social distancing. This behavior was spotted after the news of Pfizer vaccine was announced.
While it is good news for the world, yet the risk of the virus mutating should be taken seriously.
To this, you should have disinfecting equipment in your house. You can order disinfectants and cleaning solutions online.
After you come home, you should clean your doorknobs. That too with the disinfectant, so the virus does not spread any further.
Studies have shown that feces and urine sustain the virus for long. Even after your respiratory system tests negative for COVID-19.
Also, viruses can transmit from your stool. So, make sure that you clean your bathrooms with a disinfectant.
Fortunately, there are many facilities around the US that offer fast testing services.
For example, I tested recently from a Covid-19 Testing Laboratory in Bellaire. They offered Same Day Testing service.
It was quite helpful and convenient for me. For people that have to travel, such services can work well.
If you have COVID-19 symptoms, you should test immediately. You can do this by going to one of these facilities in your area.
A simple Google search will provide you with a list of healthcare facilities near you. You can look up the ones that can provide same day testing for COVID-19.
Remember: The coronavirus may or may not mutate in the future. But, you should continue to take social distancing seriously. This way you and your loved ones will stay protected.