The surge of coronavirus cases in Maharashtra has become a subject of increasing concern for those studying the unpredictable virus. Last week, as revealed in a report published by Indian Express, the National Institute of Virology (NIV) detected a double mutation variant in the samples collected from Maharashtra.
This double variant was named B.1.617. But what is it exactly and is it more dangerous than the existing and rapidly spreading variants?. The B.1.617 variant has two mutations – E484Q and L452R which generally act separately and are found in other coronavirus variants also. However, this was the first time when the researchers found these variants together for the first time in India.
The issue of greater concern is that when combined, these two mutations are far more infectious and dangerous because they have a higher potential of removing the antibodies from a human body.
New coronavirus variant found in Maharashtra
Except in Maharashtra, the researchers have not found this double variant in any other state in India. Even in Maharashtra, Pune, Thane, Aurangabad, Nagpur, Akola, Amravati and Wardha are the areas where the presence of B.1.617 has been detected.
How dangerous is the new coronavirus variant B.1.617?
Even though this double variant has the potential of causing greater damage, most patients so far have shown better results with home isolation. The variant is more infectious and can infect many people together because it spreads faster in a group or within a family.
However, no need for hospitalisation has been seen so far in most cases. The daily also mentioned that no vaccine is expected to prevent the coronavirus infection but it is essential to prevent diseases and deaths due to COVID-19.
Vaccination is important because it’s the only available prevention against the health hazards these new variants are capable to cause in humans.