TEHRAN (Iran News) – An increasingly common mutation of the novel coronavirus found in Europe, North America and parts of Asia may be more infectious but appears to be less deadly, according to a prominent infectious disease specialist.
The rise in the prevalence of the D614G mutation in Europe, North America and parts of Asia coincides with a drop in Covid-19 death rates, and “maybe that’s a good thing,” argues Paul Tambyah, senior consultant at the National University of Singapore and president-elect of the International Society of Infectious Diseases, RT reported.
Tambyah highlights that it is the natural evolution for viruses to become less virulent as they mutate, in a bid for longer-term survival – if they kill their hosts too quickly, viruses tend not to last too long in the wild.
“It is in the virus’ interest to infect more people but not to kill them, because a virus depends on the host for food and for shelter,” Tambyah explained.
This particular mutation of coronavirus was discovered as early in the pandemic as February, but scientists could not say at that point which of several mutations would prove to be the most ‘successful’ virus in terms of survival.
Thankfully, these mutations are unlikely to impact the efficacy of future vaccines, so we may enter a new “new normal” sooner than expected, with vaccines still highly important but the overall lethality of the coronavirus pandemic waning.
“(The) variants are almost identical and did not change areas that our immune system typically recognize, so there shouldn’t be any different for vaccines being developed,” says Sebastian Maurer-Stroh of Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology, and Research.
- source : Tasnim, Irannews