Experts claim to have discovered a new strain of corona virus that could be as contagious as Delta strain.
Type C.1.2 is already in the UK and was first seen in South Africa, but what do we know about this strain and will the vaccine protect us?
The strain was first identified by South African scientists in May.
It has since been found in England, China, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mauritius, New Zealand, Portugal and Switzerland.
In a report published in the journal Nature, the experts explained that the tension arose at the beginning of the first wave in South Africa and then spread to other places.
The experts added: “We show that this lineage has spread rapidly and has prevailed in three provinces, at the same time as the infection has re-emerged rapidly.
“Although the full range of mutations is not yet clear, genomic and epidemiological data show that this type of selection has an advantage – from increased migration, immune flight, or both.”
Is it in the UK?
The Public Health England (PHE) said earlier this month that C.1.2 mutations are among the ten types being monitored.
The number of cases of this mutation is not known, no statistics have been published.
This shows that infections are small in the UK, and so far there is no major concern for the country.
Will the vaccine work?
There is no evidence to suggest that the vaccine already in circulation for Covid 19 will not work against the new strain.
People in the UK have developed vaccines from Pfizer / Biotech, Oxford / AstraZeneca and Modern.
In the UK, 48 million people received the first dose of the vaccine, followed by 42.7 million.
Dr Megan Stein, a virologist and lecturer in immunology and infectious diseases at the University of Sydney’s Central Clinical School, said there was no need to worry about C.1.2, but would need to look at different variants.
He told Guardian“We can make an educated guess based on some of the variations in it, it’s the same as we’ve seen in other variants like Beta and Delta.
“So we think, maybe, the serum won’t be as neutral as it would be against ancestral stress. But unless we actually do those experiments, it’s really speculation.
“We have to keep in mind that the vaccine so far seems to be really about preventing infections and hospital admissions and deaths from various conditions. They are really good at preventing it. ۔ “
The South African National Institute of Communicable Diseases said more data was needed to understand whether the vaccine would still be effective.
He said it could “prevent an immune response”, but added that the vaccine still provides a high level of protection against both hospitalization and death.
Will it die?
As viruses develop and thrive in society, it is natural for them to change.
Although some become stronger and more dominant, as the world has seen with the shape of the delta, others die and become weaker and more fragile.
Dr Stein said the C.1.2 variety would have to be ‘strong enough’ to compete with Delta.
He explained that the spread was low and that it could still end.
One of the main reasons why scientists are so concerned about diversity is that it includes some important changes that have been observed in other species such as beta and delta.
Mutations determine whether the virus spreads rapidly and if it is more deadly.
Scientists have found that variables make about 8.81.8 million variations each year – almost double the current rate of global variation seen in any other.