As the country is facing the second wave of COVID-19, it is observed that several new coronavirus variants have been detected in the samples of multiple territories such as Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Union Territories, and other states. The MoHFW (Ministry of Health and Family) has stated that the scientists have observed the genome of the novel coronavirus which has been identified as "a double mutant". It has become a point of discussion whether the new variant can make this situation severe, or whether the vaccine will be effective on the double mutant variant or not.
What is the "Double-Mutant" Variant?
As per Dr. Rakesh Mishra (director of Center for Cellular and Microbiology), virus mutations are common. Like other viruses, the coronavirus keeps changing itself in a small way while passing from one individual or another. However, this is observed that most of those changes are insignificant and do not bring any change in the transmission or infection ability. In some cases, though, it can be more infectious or even deadlier like the ones in South Africa or the United Kingdom. He explained that over the period of time, these viruses have formulated many variants but the double mutation only happens when two mutated strains come together to create a third strain of coronavirus. According to the reports, the double-mutant of COVID-19 in India is a result of E484Q, an indigenous strain, and L452R, a foreign strain.
You may also like: How Long COVID-19 Antibodies Last in Your System
Double-Mutant: A Variant of Concern or Not
Director of AIIMS-Delhi, Dr. Randeep Guleria explains that virus mutation is expected and normal. However, it becomes a variant of concern when this causes clinical consequences by creating more severe cases or causing more morality or causing the chances of reinfection of COVID-19 even after being vaccinated. The new strain of novel coronavirus is efficient but is not the super spreader yet. Nevertheless, experts show concern on the fact that the spread of the virus from person to person can cause the formation of several variants which further can minimize the efficiency of vaccines. Therefore, people need to pay attention to stay safe in order to prevent the probable future consequences due to the COVID-19 mutations.
You may also like: 4 Ways to Increase Oxygen Level in Covid Patients at Home
Can Double-Mutant Variant Evade Vaccines?
It has not been a long time since the novel coronavirus was exposed to the world, this is not confirmed yet whether the variant evades the vaccine or not. Dr. Menon stated that while vaccines do not promise to prevent infection but certainly prevent death and disease. The only solution to deal with multiple variants of COVID-19 is to get vaccinated and follow the safety guidelines.
The first case of double-mutant variant, B.1.617 was found in Maharashtra, India and there are plenty of infection cases of the new variant found till now. Experts and scientists are still working on the consequences and impacts of the new variant of the novel coronavirus, however, it is recommended to stay safe till you get vaccinated and avoid the crowded place. Consult with the doctor immediately (chat, audio, video) with The Wellness Corner app if you feel any kind of COVID-19 symptoms. Book an RT-PCR at @home and stay safe.