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Researches Say You Shouldn't Worry About Covid Variants Found In Japan, South Africa, And The U.K.

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After the U.K. and South Africa, another variant of the Covid-19 virus has been discovered in Japan, the country’s health ministry confirmed on Sunday, revealing that while there are similarities to variants first reported in the U.K. and South Africa, the particular type does not appear to have been spotted before. The World Health Organization (WHO) has been notified about the development, and researchers and scientists are now reassuring people that they shouldn’t be too worried about the Covid-19 mutations.

According to Brian Labus, Ph.D., MPH, an assistant professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, virus mutations aren’t necessarily a cause of worry. It is normal and natural for viruses to mutate and develop new variants as the virus replicates and mutation itself is nothing to be concerned about. In fact, some mutations damage the virus in itself and make it harder to spread, while only the rarer mutations allow the virus to spread fast.

“Many mutations have no effect on the virus, as there is a lot of redundancy in the genetic code. Some are harmful and make it harder for the virus to spread, and those will quickly disappear from the population,” he said. “The ones that help it survive or spread more easily are the ones we are concerned about.”

“If that strain spreads more easily or causes more serious disease, it would be concerning. But mutations that can do that are rare,” Labus said. “That is why we haven’t been talking about thousands of different strains of the virus with varying severity and spread.”

Of course, the variants found in the UK and South Africa make the virus more transmissible. But even in that case, it is very unlikely that vaccines will fail against the virus. As a matter of fact, when a vaccine is developed, the idea that the virus is a moving agent is built into its design. This means that most vaccines offer protection against numerous virus mutations.

At the moment, it hasn’t been realized if the variant in Japan is as transmissible as the one in the UK. But for now, authorities are not very concerned as the variant has only been detected from travelers from Brazil so it is being hoped that the strain will not fire up into an outbreak.

Source: Healthline