Here is everything we know about the new version of the virus!


“The described version (…) includes a new set of mutations”, the British scientific consortium Kovid-19 Genomics UK (COG-UK) specified its site. The body says the variation in question is “under scrutiny by UK public health agencies, and the union.”

This variant, which appeared in London or Kent (South-East) in mid-September, may account for 62% of the recorded in London in December and 43% in the South-East. The government’s scientific advisor Patrick Valence clarified that this version has 23 variations compared to the virus as we know it. This is an “unusually large number, associated with changes in” many “proteins that make up the virus” and “the way the virus binds or enters cells,” he says. “Variant N501Y is a priority without a disturbing mutation,” explains François Balloux, director of the Institute of Genetics at University College London, on the special site Medisite.

More contagious, but…

This strain, primarily identified in more than 1000 people in the south of England, may be involved in the “spread” of the virus in the south-east of England, without knowing “to what extent” “, Health Minister Matt Hancock said earlier this week. The minister warned on Sunday, “Until a vaccine is deployed, it will be very difficult to keep it under control.” The United Kingdom called the World Health Organization (WHO) Boris According to Johnson, “up to 70%” of new strains have been reported to spread rapidly. “There is no indication that this is more fatal or more severe form of the disease” or that it reduces the effectiveness of the vaccine , The Prime Minister said. England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty said “urgent work is going on to confirm this”.

Quid du Vaccine?

The UK began its vaccination campaign on 8 December. With this new version, a question arises: will the vaccine still be effective? Mutations in a virus are common. On its Facebook page, French geneticist Axel Kahn recalled the date, stating “three hundred co-cum-two mutants have been sequenced in the world”. In fact, South Africa has also reported a “501.V2 variant”, which is believed to give severe forms in younger patients with no comorbidity. Some mutations in the virus make them more resistant to treatment or vaccines, but others “have absolutely no effect”, Jonathan Ball, a professor of molecular virology at the University of Nottingham, said in a statement. Even if this new version becomes a “fast-spreading” and “dominant” form, Patrick Wallance ensures that vaccines continue to respond “adequately”.

If Prof. of the University of Birmingham. For Alan McNally, “it is too early to worry or not to worry about this new version”, as it was quickly recognized to understand its features and its provenance, Proc. “This new strain is very worrying,” said immunologist Openshaw of Imperial College London, quoting the Science Media Center for Peter.

As a precaution, many countries have already preferred to postpone flights from the United Kingdom.

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