February 4, 2023

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What do you know about the new corona virus variant found in South Africa | Omigran mutations and fear of experts

What is the new variant of SARS-CoV-2?

The new variant of the detected corona virus is called P.1.1529. The World Health Organization Based on the Greek alphabet for naming new genres of interest. To p.1.1529 He decided to call her Omigron.

Variation from the P.1.1 lineage, a Number of “incredibly high” mutationsExperts say. The The fear is, it is very contagious And is effective in suppressing the human body’s immune system.

A variant with 32 mutations

La P.1.1529 There are 32 mutations in its spike protein. These mutations include E484A, K417N and N440K, which are involved in the mechanism by which antibodies escape the virus.

Another mutation found in spike protein, N501Y, appears to increase the ability of the virus to enter our cells, and it is contagious.

Where did he come from?

There is variation First discovered in Botswana As of November 11, three cases have already been registered.

In South Africa, there are 22 infections, with the first case being diagnosed on November 14th, According to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases. Further cases are expected to be confirmed

The South African government noted that a number of B.1.1.529 cases were located in the province of Gauteng. He also called for an emergency meeting with the World Health Organization’s Govt technical task force.

The first case registered outside Africa was in Hong Kong. The victim, a 36-year-old passenger, was in South Africa from October 23 to November 11 and tested positive after three days of isolation when he returned home. Cases were later registered in Israel and Belgium.

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Scientists have warned that this variant has more changes in its spike protein than they have ever seen. Suggest that A person with an immunodeficiency virus may have been infected for a long time, possibly with undiagnosed HIV..

Professor Franோois Baloux, director of the Institute of Genetics at University College London, said there were variations in an “extraordinary galaxy” that “apparently accumulated in a single eruption” and that it may have formed during a “chronic” period. Infection of an immunocompromised person, possibly an untreated HIV / AIDS patient. ”So far, no cases of variability have been reported in the UK.

Is it resistant to vaccines?

Spike protein contains the exterior of the virus that causes Govit-19 and allows it to attach to human cells. Vaccines train the body to identify that protein and neutralize it, thus preventing cells from becoming infected.

The 32 mutations found in the spike protein of the new variant change the shape of this structure, which creates the problem. Vaccine-induced immune response.

There are Mutations make spike protein less recognizable to our antibodies. As a result, they may not be effective in neutralizing the virus, which can lead to infection, bypassing the immune system.

Should we worry?

The Scientists have mixed opinions Whether or not we should worry about the last variation.

Tom Peacock, a virologist at Imperial College London, warned that the mutation was “really worrying” because of 32 mutations in spike protein.

However, Professor Balox argued at the time that “there is no reason to worry too much.”

The peacock noted that the new variant “should be closely monitored because of that terrifying spike protein profile”, which is far more contagious than any other variant so far. He also warned: “The spread to Asia indicates that it could be very widespread.” Anyway, I hope it does not spread like it used to.

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Balox, on the other hand, considered it “difficult to predict how widespread it will be at this point.” “At the moment, this needs to be closely monitored and analyzed, but there is no need to worry too much until the frequency starts to increase in the future,” he said.

Mira Chand, Cowit-19 incident director at the UK Health Security Agency, said the status of new corona viruses around the world was being monitored on a random basis and that there were not a small number of cases with “new mutations”. “Unusual.”

“Because frequent and approximate changes are inherent in viruses, it is not uncommon for a small number of cases to develop with new mutations. Any variant that shows evidence of transmission is quickly evaluated,” he concluded.

From The Independent Magazine, special for page / 12