The Coronavirus Has Mutated And It’s a Lot Scarier

We were all alarmed when we heard about the Coronavirus spreading from the country of China, to many different countries and regions all around the Globe. The mere idea of it, being a flu-like condition, made millions of people panic – what more if it becomes scarier? What if it becomes deadlier that can cause a global panic? What if it evolves or mutates?

Coronavirus Has Mutated
This image was taken from Metro UK | Metro.Co.UK

According to Chinese Scientists, the Coronavirus has mutated and it has separated into two (2) different strands. Yes, the Coronavirus has mutated to 2 types and that’s what already affects people.

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As of writing, there were a total of 110,337 people who have been infected from all around the globe. Moreover, the count of the mortality rate has risen to a staggering 3,831 people and thankfully, 62,396 has recovered fully from the disease.

However, it doesn’t end there – the Coronavirus has mutated and we have a lot more to learn about it.

The two strands

Chinese experts and Scientists named the strands “S” and “L,” where the latter seems to be more aggressive and more common; affecting nearly 70% of the total of the remaining infected patients. It’s faster-spreading and it’s especially common in the early outbreak in the province of Wuhan in China.

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Only 30 percent of the patients are hit with the S kind and it’s slower in terms of spreading. The “S,” strand continues infecting newer patients at a slow and steady pace, but it doesn’t mean it’s harmless.

Recovered patients being reinfected

Now that the Coronavirus has mutated, it’s actually no question that even those who have recovered can be reinfected by the virus. Although no solid proof of it has been raised, this issue seems to be more on the obvious side because of the fact that the virus is getting harder and more challenging to keep track of.

In the study that led to the discovery of these two strands, Scientists and researchers had a study with 103 people. In their study, they were able to come up with the idea that since S is slower-paced and is slow in terms of spreading, it makes it less severe; increasing the risk of it being passed.

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Dr. Jie Cui, with Professor Jian Lu, the people who led the research said that they’ve seen the type “L” being more prevailing, the frequency of the L has decreased after January 2020. S, on the other end of the spectrum, is less aggressive which might have increased in terms of spreading and frequency because of its lesser evil.

Human intervention may have placed more severe selective pressure on the L type, which might be more aggressive and spread more quickly. On the other hand, the S type, which is evolutionarily older and less aggressive, might have increased in relative frequency due to relatively weaker selective pressure.”

Human Intervention

Human intervention is said and thought to be the act of hospitalizing and attempting to treat people with the virus as well as the command and order of locking down areas where it was spreading in a fast pace.

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They continued that should people with a specific type of virus are duly taken to a hospital more urgently than those who are infected with a different strain, then this, basically limits the number of other people that this strain can affect and infect.

In simple logic, a virus needs to make people ill and sick enough so that they can spread it. When people with colds need to cough or sneeze; but not to the point where they can be bedridden and be bound to die – this will keep the virus away from other people who can be infected.

Can this be trusted?

With us having the knowledge that the Coronavirus has mutated; should we be scared? Leaders of the research and the study Jie and Jian said that the findings they were able to come up with needs urgent and immediate studies foirst so that they can combine different types of data.

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These findings strongly support an urgent need for further immediate, comprehensive studies that combine genomic data, epidemiological data, and chart records of the clinical symptoms of patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).”

Dr. Stephen Griffin, The University of Leeds Scientists said that it’s too early to claim and to trust the accuracy of the findings. Dr. Griffin isn’t part of the research and thus, he is expressing his thoughts about this being to extravagant; mutating to many different strands in a short span of time.

He continued to say that for viruses to mutate, they need ample time to adapt to the environment; just like how other viruses and conditions mutated over the years.

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It is usually the case that when RNA viruses first cross species barriers into humans they aren’t particularly well adapted to their new host (us!).”

Virus fitness

Griffin even continued that researchers and Scientists haven’t even tested the fitness of the virus about them replicating human cells, evolving and mutating, becoming deadlier and more dangerous.

Thus, they usually undergo some changes allowing them to adapt and become better able to replicate within, and spread from human to human. However, as this study hasn’t tested the relative “fitness” of these viruses when they replicate in human cells or an animal model, it isn’t really possible to say whether this is what’s happened to SARS-CoV2.”

Basing it from the fact that the researchers said that the mutations were caused by natural selection besides recombination, it’s not clear as to how the virus have come to this point at the limited time it has been in our lives.

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In terms of traveling, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently reported that the disease has infected more than 93,000 people all over the globe. As per their data, the following countries have reported a strict and a sudden rise in cases and infected patients:

  • Germany
  • Italy
  • Iran
  • South Korea

Records show that the number of people having flu-like symptoms have risen in the countries, and therefore, we should take extra precautionary measures if we find ourselves in these countries.

The Coronavirus has mutated – but we still aren’t sure of the possibilities and the risks involved. As mentioned by the researchers themselves, it’s early to recognize and determine. What we now now is that the virus is still alive and there are still people who are infected.

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What do you think about the study that concludes and dictates that the Coronavirus has mutated? Could this be legitimate and does this indicate a riskier and a more dangerous environment for all of us?

It wouldn’t be such a big problem if you take care of yourself – please do! Let’s all be wary of our surroundings and we should always make sure that we’re healthy!

Source/s: CNBC | Daily Mail UK

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