A new viral strain of corona has been found in Malaysia, which scientists claim is 10 times more contagious than the SARS-COV-2 strain. In fact, no new species of the corona has emerged, the viral strain being referred to is a new viral strain created by altering the genes of the SARS-COV-2 virus. There is a mutation in the gene of coronavirus called ‘D614G’. This change is mainly due to the corona spike protein.
Dr. Paul Tambia, an infectious disease specialist at the National University of Singapore and president of the International Society for Infectious Diseases in the United States, claims that the new strain of corona, which replaces genes, is contagious, but not as deadly. The characteristic of this strain is that it can infect the human body very quickly. But the death toll from this viral strain is not likely to increase. Scientist Paul claims that there is not much reason to be afraid.
What exactly is the ‘D614G’?
This change in gene structure was first observed in February. This new viral strain spread to Europe and America. Scientists say the structure of the corona gene has changed. However, the new strain could not be identified in that way. The RNA viral strain of coronavirus responsible for infecting Covid-19 is called SARS-Cov-2.
It is commonly seen that a virus changes the structure of a gene many times during its life. Since the SARS-COV-2 viral strain has been infected in the human body, the structure of the gene in this strain has changed very quickly. Scientists say that SARS-COV-2 uses glycoprotein of its stinging spikes to enter human cells.
This spike protein is the most contagious element of coronavirus. When SARS-COV-2 is changing the structure of the gene, the change mainly occurs in this spike protein. The purpose is the same so that more copies can be made by quickly penetrating the cells of the human body.
‘D614G’ is a substitute for the amino acid of the corona spike protein. Scientists say that the change is taking place at a certain point. That is mutations in single amino acid. Simply to say, an amino acid is changing the structure of the protein.
Aspartic acid is an amino acid which is denoted as D. It is being changed by going to point 614 while D breaks down to form new amino acids or glycine (G). Hence, the name is given to ‘D614G’.
There is no chance of catastrophe, nor will it affect the vaccine
Scientists at New York University say that the new gene is contagious but will not increase mortality. This viral strain can also be suppressed with a dose of the vaccine. Scientists claim that since the ‘D614G’ mutation is in the spike protein of the virus, it will not cause any serious changes in the receptor-binding domain.
With this receptor-binding domain, the receptor protein ACE-2 in human cells is added. It is true that the virus will be able to enter the cell quickly due to the new mutations, but there will not be any changes so that this strain becomes irresistible. Scientists claim that the structure of the corona gene will continue to change. Thus, D614G mutation in coronavirus has taken place. The effectiveness of the vaccine will not be affected. So there is no reason to panic.
Dr Heidi J Zapata, MD, PhD, Yale School of Medicine, University in New Haven, Connecticut, United States says that they observed the D614G variant of the novel coronavirus found in the patient’s body. She agreed that the virus had higher levels of RNA in their bodies.
Dr Heidi J Zapata told that a few scientists suggested in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases that the D614G mutation could be more toxic, but their own evidence was circumstantial and not clear. There was another short communication in the journal ‘Infection, Genetics and Evolution’ reported that the mutations were significant. But, it has to assume that the researches are ongoing.
Dr Heidi suggests, assuming that the coronavirus does mutate into a more deadly infectious virus, measures of prevention remain the same. Wear a mask, wash your hands, keep a distance of 6 feet from other people, avoid contacting sick people without PPE kit, stay home if you feel sick, avoid inessential travel domestically or internationally.
She also says that people can also take healthy measures to boost the immune system. People can optimize their immune system by limiting alcohol and smoking, prioritizing sleep, consuming essential nutrients like Vitamin C, D and consuming enough water with doing regular exercise.