The World Reels in Fear of the Dangerously Mutated COVID Variants

The emergence of several mutated variants of the Coronavirus pandemic has caused great fear among citizens of nations across the world. Over a year into this deadly virus, healthcare workers, and citizens alike are struggling to find a way to normalcy. With the UK, South Africa, Brazil and other countries now facing the emergence of mutant variants, the WHO (World Health Organization) is not hiding their apprehension. Scientists are also baffled by the extra transmissible strains of the virus and are scrambling to find ways to control it.

What is a Mutant Variant? 

A mutant variant is the name given to a new strain of the Coronavirus that has emerged. The variant is said to have the capability of being more easily passed from person to person, thus making it a formidable threat to global health. Most of these variants have been found in the UK, South Africa and Brazil, with India also recording a steep increase in cases caused by this mutated strain.

The Science Behind the Variants

The mutant variants are thought to have been created by the virus mutating, which is something that happens naturally. The genetic structure of malignant viruses, such as the Coronavirus, can be changed due to mutations in their genes. These changes can occur, due to a variety of factors and can cause new variants of a virus to appear.

How do the Mutant Variants Spread?

The mutated variants are thought to spread the same way as any other virus, through contact with others. However, it is believed that the mutated variants can spread more easily, as the mutated forms of the virus can attach to body cells much easier than its original form. Furthermore, the cells that these mutated viruses infect also produce more virus particles, making them more efficient and dangerous.

What are the Symptoms of the Mutant Variants? 

The symptoms of the mutated variants are believed to be generally the same as those of the original virus, with a few exceptions. There might be milder symptoms, such as low fever, mild cough, and shortness of breath, which may be confusing to regular citizens. It is believed that the real danger lies in the worse complications caused by the mutated variants, such as pneumonia and other respiratory problems along with organ failure, heart and kidney issues.

How is the World Reacting?

The emergence of the mutant variants has caused much confusion and concern in the world. Most countries have implemented tougher restrictions, with some also going as far as imposing a nationwide lockdown. Nations such as the UK and South Africa are also in the process of rolling out mass vaccination drives to curb the spread of this mutant variant.

What About Testing for the Mutant Variants? 

One of the challenges that the medical community faces is detection and testing of the mutated variants. As the community works to control the outbreak, testing for the mutated variants is becoming a priority. Current tests used to detect the virus, however, fail to detect the mutated variant and therefore special tests, such as whole genome sequencing, are being developed to better identify the variant.

What are the Risks of the Mutant Variants? 

The risks posed by the mutant variants of the virus are very real and that is why it is so important to remain vigilant in this time of the pandemic. Because the variant has the ability to spread more easily, it is believed that it could cause more damage than the original strain. The concern is that it could make more people contract the virus and increase fatalities.

What Are the Most Promising Solutions? 

The most promising solution that the world can turn to in order to combat the mutated variants is through mass vaccinations. Vaccines have been developed and are being rolled out in the UK, US and other countries, in the hope that immunization will be able to protect those who have been vaccinated from contracting the virus or from having any severe symptoms in the case of an infection.

As the world continues to grapple with the mutated variants of the Coronavirus, it is important to take note of the situation and be prepared. Taking all the necessary steps to protect oneself and others from the virus, such as wearing masks, avoiding large crowds and following social distancing can go a long way in preventing the spread of the virus. The medical community is also keeping a keen eye on the mutated variants, ensuring that it does not spiral out of control and thus, the public are encouraged to be cognizant.