The Variant coronavirus, which was discovered in September last year and has spread widely across the UK, seems to be experiencing some new mutations in the UK, the BBC reported on February 2.
Reuters reported that a public health expert in a panel of experts who consulted the British government said on Tuesday local time that the mutation of the novel coronavirus E484K occurred “naturally” in the Variant coronavirus previously discovered in the United Kingdom.
British researchers found a mutation called E484K in some coronavirus samples in the testing of some virus samples, which had previously appeared in the Variant novel coronavirus found in South Africa and Brazil, which attracted the attention of British scientists.
Calum Semple, an epidemiologist at the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom, told the BBC, “The most concerned mutation, which we call the mutation of E484K, is also naturally present in the first mutation of the coronavirus found in Kent in southern England. “
Julian Down, a virus expert at the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom, described the discovery of this mutation as “a worrying development, although not completely unexpected”.
It is important for people to follow lockdown rules and reduce infections so that the virus can be prevented from Variant further, he said.
Otherwise, not only will the virus continue to spread, it will continue to evolve… Allowing the virus to spread widely can provide a “melting pot” for different emerging varieties.” Julian Don said.
The BBC also reported that experts from the British public health department have found only 11 samples of the virus they tested for E484K mutations, which means that the mutation has not yet been widespread.
The UK has now taken steps to control the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Parts of England have even begun emergency testing for variant viruses found in South Africa, and travel restrictions have been introduced to prevent more cases from being imported from abroad.
The BBC also quoted British experts as saying that although this mutation may reduce the effectiveness of the currently available coronavirus vaccine against the virus, it does not mean that these vaccines have failed.
According to the report, researchers are currently studying how these emerging mutations will affect the existing coronavirus vaccine, because the existing vaccines are basically designed around the first few strains that triggered the coronavirus pandemic.
Some studies seem to suggest that mutations in E484K may help viruses escape recognition from the immune system, making neutralizing antibodies fail.
British experts say that even if the worst is planned, the vaccine can be redesigned, and if necessary, the vaccine can be adjusted in weeks or months to better adapt to the new situation.
Jeremy Hunt, the former British Health Secretary, said that if you want to run faster than the virus, you need to vaccinate as many people as possible as possible, and reiterated his call for measures such as washing hands, keeping distance from others and wearing masks to remain effective means of preventing infection.