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Novel coronavirus mutant strains more than 1000, experts: to deal with the mutant novel coronavirus will become a new challenge this year

Health Times reporters found that there were more than 1000 novel coronavirus variants according to literature and local reports.

Novel coronavirus has evolved into more than 800 different subtypes or branches since late 2019, according to a new study published Feb. 8 in the Journal of Virology.
Since February 2021, new crown mutant strains have been found in Japan, the Philippines and other places. In particular, on February 21, scientists in India found more than 240 new mutant strains there.
Accordingly, the novel coronavirus variant strain has exceeded 1000.

“Novel coronavirus is constantly mutating, but the degree of mutation is very small, from the data, some small mutant strains exist for a period of time, not detected, may disappear again.
But the mutation of the virus requires close monitoring and attention.”
Zhongguancun Meinian health industry research institute executive director Ning Yi told the Health Times reporter.

The world enters 2021 with new tools to combat a new pandemic, such as a vaccine, but it also faces new challenges, such as virus mutation, said WHO Regional Office Director for Europe, Johannes Kluge, at an online news conference from Copenhagen.

Global variation and distribution of novel coronavirus (SARS-COV-2) as of February 24.
Data from the Global Initiative for Sharing Influenza Data (GISAID)

Of the thousands of mutated viruses,

The British variant became one of the most widespread

“Covid-19 is a single-stranded RNA virus, which is easier than a normal DNA virus.”
Ning Yi introduced that from the current GISAID data, the frequency of novel coronavirus mutation is accelerating.
As can be seen from the above figure, since January 2020, some novel coronavirus variants, such as the dark purple variant virus, have not been found in the follow-up monitoring, and whether they disappear still needs to be detected and confirmed.

In December 2020, a new new crown mutant strain, B.1.1.7 mutant strain, was first discovered in the UK.
Studies have shown that the transmissibility of the mutant strain is significantly enhanced, more than 50% higher than that of the main strains currently circulating.
The virus has now been found in more than 80 countries, according to the World Health Organization.
As of February 16, there were 1,299 confirmed cases of the new strain in the United States;
Germany’s health ministry expects 80% of new infections in the coming weeks to be from the new strain.

Moreover, on 19 February, US scientists found that the British strain of B.1.1.7 and the American strain of B.1.429 formed a new strain.
However, it is not clear whether the mutated strains are more contagious.

According to a report by New Delhi TV (NDTV) on February 21, 240 new mutant novel coronavirus strains have emerged across India.
The new strain, found in Maharashtra, is likely to be highly contagious and dangerous.
The new mutation can even cause people who have developed antibodies to the virus to become infected again.

According to the Kyodo News on February 18, a new mutant novel coronavirus has been found in Japan, which is different from those previously found in the United Kingdom, South Africa and other countries.
The mutated virus may weaken the immune response, but it is not more infectious.

The Philippines’ Genome Center (PGC) has detected novel coronavirus mutant strains, E484K and N501Y, in Cabu City, the Visaya Health Center (DOH7) said on February 18.

Expert analysis:

The hope for dealing with the mutated virus is that a magic bullet will emerge

Feng Zijian, deputy director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said at a press conference held by the State Council’s joint prevention and control mechanism that the mutated virus causes increased infectivity, but so far we have not seen an increase in the virulence of the mutated virus, which means the hospitalization rate and fatality rate of the mutated virus have not increased compared with the unmutated virus.

“Whether the mutated virus is terrible or not, we need to consider two aspects, four situations.”
Two aspects are the transmission and virulence of the virus, Ning said.
In four cases, one transmissible enhanced toxicity increased toxicity, two transmissible enhanced toxicity decreased, three transmissible reduced toxicity increased toxicity, four transmissible reduced toxicity decreased.

“Our best hope for a mutation is that the novel coronavirus is less transmissive and less virulent, reducing its negative impact on public health.”
Ning Yi believes that, but from the current look, novel coronavirus mutation situation these four kinds are possible, and why the British mutation virus is terrible, lies in its transmission enhanced, the virulence did not enhance but did not weaken, maintain a current level, if enhanced, or very dangerous.

How to deal with mutated viruses?
Ning Yi believes that it is still difficult to form a stable herd immunity in a short period of time on a global scale. It is still expected that the emergence of specific drugs and targeted treatment methods can greatly reduce the case fatality rate, so some prevention strategies will also change accordingly.
But at present, the specific medicine is still in the process of active research and development around the world.
To deal with the mutated virus, it is now necessary to rely on the effective protection rate of the vaccine in the population, which depends on the effectiveness and coverage rate of the vaccine in the population.

According to Ning Yi, some mutant strains of novel coronavirus have been “camouflaged” to weaken the immune effect of the vaccine.
In February, authoritative journals published online in nature, Michel Nussenzweig a study team, the research results show that in a small study, several vaccines which induced antibodies of mutation and activity has fallen slightly, but still has a protective effect, the current more effective vaccines have been developed for virus or experiment.

Therefore, novel coronavirus variants may challenge the control of novel coronavirus to some extent.
Ning Yi believes that, but for novel coronavirus mutation, ordinary people do not need excessive panic, in accordance with the prevention of new crown normal life is good.
Surveillance and analysis of virus mutations should be a regular task for specialized departments at regional and national levels.
At the same time, the situation of foreign novel coronavirus variation is relatively severe, and the pressure of preventing foreign importation is still not to be underestimated.

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