The head of the British genetic surveillance program, Sharon Peacock, said that the emerging coronavirus strain, which was first discovered in the British province of Kent, is on its way “to sweep the world.”
The strain is already circulating in more than 50 countries so far, and it quickly became the most common variant in large parts of the UK within a few months.
Early data indicates that this “most contagious and deadly” strain has symptoms different from the known strain of the emerging coronavirus, which requires new and separate research on it.
More severe symptoms
In general, people with this strain experience the same symptoms as Covid-19, but with a more severe cough. 35% of people who were diagnosed with the virus reported severe frequent coughing, while extreme fatigue and muscle weakness ranked second, affecting 32% of cases, and loss of smell, taste, or both was reported in only 15% of cases.
The mutated version of the virus contains 23 changes compared to its original version (Wuhan version), some of which can affect the body’s immune response and also affect the set of symptoms associated with infection.
A recent study also revealed that the Kent strain acquired a mutation similar to the South African variant, which may make it more vulnerable to vaccine resistance. But it is not yet certain.
Mechanism of mutation
According to the British researcher, “Often errors occur during the viral RNA replication process, and these errors result in viruses that are similar but not identical copies of the original virus. Mistakes in the process of copying viral RNA are called“ mutations. ”The viruses that carry these are called Mutations are “variants.” Variables can be caused by one or more mutations.
Altmann asserts that all mutations have the same effect. When a mutation occurs only at one point; It will not necessarily change any of the building blocks (amino acids) in the way a human or virus is created.