B.1.526: New contagious Covid-19 variant

A new highly contagious Covid-19 variant, which is being called as B.1.526, is causing severe damage in the city of New York.

Key Points

  • A study published on the Columbia University website states that the new Covid-19 variant is carrying a highly dangerous mutation which have the potential to weaken the efficacy of the vaccine.
  • The study highlighted that the highly contagious variant was initially identified in samples which were collected in November 2020.
  • The cases with these new variants have been on a steady rise since December 2020 in the city.
  • As per the study, the about 12.3 percent of the total cases till mid-February of 2021 were due to this new variant of the corona virus.
  • It highlights that, one in four cases in the New York city are related to this variant.
  • The researchers further found that, one area of the spike protein – E484K, was present in of the three contagious variants of the virus.
  • These three variants include p.1, South African variant and New York variant.
  • They also stated that, this particular part of the spike protein has negative impacts on the immunity of the body and could exacerbate the condition.

Lineage P.1 or Brazilian Variant

It is a variant of SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 disease. This variant has 17 unique amino acid changes. Out of them, 10 is present in its spike protein, including the N501Y and E484K. This variant was first detected in Japan on January 6, 2021 by the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NIID) in four people. These four people had arrived in Tokyo after visiting the Amazonas in Brazil. The variant caused huge infection in the city of Manaus.

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