- Michelle Roberts
- Health editor, BBC
The outbreak of Covid cases, with the delta mutated Corona virus, has raised concern in China, after more than 300 cases were detected within 10 days, which prompted the strengthening of medical examinations and the imposition of travel restrictions on citizens.
It is not clear how many people have been fully vaccinated in China, although authorities say more than 1.6 billion doses have been given so far.
so what NSAnd moving Delta?
There are thousands of different types, or mutants, of the virus that causes Covid around the world. It appears that one of them, known as the delta mutate or “P. 1.612.7”, is spreading rapidly in many countries, including Britain, and has even become the dominant mutant behind most of the current infections.
Britain classifies the Delta mutation as a “mutation of concern” and is under close monitoring by health officials.
Other parameters of current concern include:
The alpha mutant, first detected in Britain, has spread to more than 50 countries.
The beta mutant was first detected in South Africa, but it has spread to about 20 other countries, including Britain.
The gamma mutant was first detected in Brazil, but has spread to more than 10 other countries, including Britain.
Viruses are constantly mutating, and most of the mutations seem illogical, some even harming the virus itself, but others make the disease more contagious or threatening, and some mutations even tend to become dominant models.
Do you Conversion Delta more dangerous?
There is no evidence that the delta mutation, or any of the other mutations, causes more severe disease in the vast majority of people.
As with the original virus, the risk remains higher in the elderly or those with chronic health conditions.
However, if the mutant is more contagious, it could lead to more deaths among unvaccinated people.
Vaccines provide high protection against severe diseases associated with Covid-19, including infections caused by mutants of concern, and vaccines reduce the risk of infection, but they are not perfect and do not completely eliminate all risks.
The basic advice to avoid infection remains the same for all mutants: wash your hands, keep a distance between you and others, put a mask on your face and keep ventilation.
How do mutants work?
All of the mutants of concern underwent changes to the skeletal protein (the protein that forms the crown of thorns or the protrusions surrounding the virus), a part of the virus that penetrates human cells.
The delta mutator contains some potentially important components (eg L452R) that could make it spread more easily.
Officials in Britain say there is no evidence to suggest it causes more severe disease or could make existing vaccines less effective.
A single mutation, known as N501Y, shared by alpha, gamma and beta, appears to make it easier for the virus to infect cells and spread.
Both beta and gamma mutants contain a major genetic mutation, or mutation known as E484K, that may help the virus evade some of the body’s immune defenses.
Experts also monitored a small number of cases of the alpha mutation containing this mutation.
Are vaccines still effective in protecting against the virus?mutants؟
Currently available vaccines are designed to protect against earlier types of coronavirus, which means that they may not be completely perfect with the new mutant and therefore may not be very effective.
However, experts say vaccines are still very effective in protecting humans and reducing the risk of severe infection:
- An analysis by Public Health England showed that two doses of the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccines provide an efficacy of more than 90 percent to keep people from having to go to hospital with a delta mutant.
- However, a single dose was less effective in preventing delta mutation than it was against alpha.
Doctors say it is necessary to get two doses of the vaccine to provide the highest degree of protection against current and emerging mutants.
Do booster doses of the vaccine provide protection from the virus?mutants؟
Experts are confident that current vaccines can be redesigned to better respond to new mutations.
The British government had concluded an agreement with the pharmaceutical company “CureVac” to develop vaccines that protect against mutants in the future, and had requested in advance 50 million doses.
Depending on how mutants of the virus continue to evolve, a booster dose of the vaccine is likely to provide protection for the elderly or those at clinical risk later in the year.