Study on corona mutants: indications of changed symptoms in B.1.1.7

Study on Corona Mutant
Indications of changed symptoms in B.1.1.7

The corona variant first discovered in Great Britain could not only be more contagious and deadly – it also shows peculiarities in the symptoms. According to a survey, the loss of the sense of smell and taste is less common. Other symptoms, however, seem to be more common.

According to a study by the British statistical agency ONS (Office for National Statistics), the symptoms of the coronavirus variant, which was first discovered in Great Britain, are slightly different than the previously predominant one. Coughing, tiredness, body aches and sore throats are therefore somewhat more common. The loss of the sense of smell and taste, however, is somewhat less common. There is no difference in the frequency of headaches, shortness of breath, diarrhea or vomiting. 6,000 randomly identified people who tested positive for the coronavirus were surveyed.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that the new variants have now been detected in 70 countries. That was ten countries more than a week earlier. The WHO also recorded a greater distribution area for the mutant, which was initially detected in South Africa. The number of countries affected rose by eight to 31 within a week. For the mutant that first appeared in Brazil, the WHO now stated that eight instead of six countries were affected.

With viruses, random changes in the genetic material, called mutations, occur constantly. Some give the pathogen advantages – for example by making it easier to transmit. According to British experts, variant B.1.1.7 that appeared in Great Britain is 30 to 70 percent easier to transfer than the previous one. Indications that it could also lead to fatal courses of Covid-19 more often have so far only been based on very uncertain data, as experts emphasize. The WHO emphasized, however, that this information was based on “preliminary” study results and that further analyzes were necessary for verification.

The WHO further stated that there are indications that the variant 501Y.V2 found in South Africa is less “susceptible to antibody neutralization” than the original variant. Some experts therefore fear that this mutant could lead to more second infections with the coronavirus and could possibly also have an impact on the effectiveness of corona vaccines. According to the WHO, however, further studies are necessary here too.

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