As the pandemic has progressed, new Covid, coronavirus variants have been detected around the world. Scientists have been at the forefront in conducting studies on them so as to gather more knowledge on the Covid -19 virus .Some that have been in the news are:
• B.1.1.7 (the Covid variant first seen in the United Kingdom)
• B.1.351 (the Covid variant first seen in South Africa)
• P.1 (the Covid variant first seen in Brazil)
In addition to these, there are also other Covid variants that are currently circulating. Since they’ve emerged so recently, there’s a lot of scientists still don’t know about the covid-19 coronavirus variants. This means there is a deficit of available published and verified information on emerging variants of the covid-19 virus.
B.1.17The United Kingdom Covid variant
B.1.1.7 was first identified in the United Kingdom in the fall of 2020. It then proceeded to be transmitted very rapidly, becoming the dominant strain in the U.K .The B.1.1.7 variant has several mutations that affect the spike protein. This protein is found on the surface of the virus. It’s what the virus uses to bind to and enter a host cell in your body. This variant transfer more quickly between individuals.https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/an-offshoot-of-the-delta-variant-is-rising-in-the-uk
B.1.351The South African Covid variant
B.1.351 was initially identified in South Africa in early October 2020.B.1.351 contains some of the spike protein mutations present in B.1.1.7, the Covid variant first seen in the U.K. However, it also contains some others. There’s currently no evidence that B.1.351 causes more severe illness than earlier versions of the coronavirus. One of the main concerns about this variant is the effect that its mutations appear to have on immunity. There’s some evidence suggesting that the mutations in B.1.351 affect antibodies. Because B.1.351 may evade antibodies, people who contracted the new coronavirus earlier could contract this new variant, despite their existing immunity. It’s also possible that current vaccines may be less effective for this variant.B.1.351 may also be transmitted faster.https://www.cfr.org/blog/new-covid-19-variant-detected-south-africa
P.1 The Brazilian Covid variant
P.1 was first detected in early January 2021 in travelers from Brazil who were tested upon entering Japan. It was first found in the United States in late January 2021P.1 contains 17 unique mutations Trusted Source. These include some of the key spike protein mutations present in both the variants first identified in the U.K. and South Africa, as well as several other mutations. As with the other two variants, P.1 may be more transmissible.P.1 was highly prevalent Trusted Source in samples that were collected during a January 2021 surge of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Manaus, Brazil.https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/01/health/covid-19-coronavirus-brazil-variant.html
The variant had been absent in previous samples. Because P.1 shares some mutations with B.1.351(the south Africa Covid variant), it’s possible that this variant may have effects on immunity and vaccine effectiveness. There’s already some evidence for this. Let’s go back to the COVID-19 surge of confirmed cases in Manaus. A survey of blood donors in the city found that about 76 percent Trusted Source of people had contracted the new coronavirus by October 2020. This implies that some individuals in the January surge could have had a repeat infection with P.1.
What’s the way forward on the Covid-19 variants
There has been tremendous progress in the medical field in the fight against the spread of covid-19. Some companies have developed apps that can easily conduct the covid-19 screening. They take the persons vitals in terms of temperature, oxygen levels and others. This will make it easier and convenient for people to take the tests and know ones Covid status at their own convenient time. Vaccination is also lauded as a milestone in reducing further spread of the virus. The vaccinations available are said to be over ninety percent effective in the fight against further infection against covid-19.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZC8ppSTQgyE