The mutated strain of Covid-19 (D614G) that is a predominant variant in Europe and the US was detected in Malaysia last week. Dr Noor Hisham urged the public to be careful as this virus is found to be 10 times more infectious than the usual. This mutated strain was found in Singapore and the Philippines too.
Just when we thought things will be getting worse, a senior consultant at the National University of Singapore (NUS) has expressed otherwise.
Paul Tambyah, who is also a president-elect of the U.S.-based International Society of Infectious Diseases said that the mutated coronavirus might be more infectious, but it seems to be less fatal. He added that the majority of viruses tend to turn less lethal as they mutate.
“Maybe that’s a good thing to have a virus that is more infectious but less deadly,” he said, according to Reuters.
Moreover, the increase of D614G cases in Europe has coincided with a drop in the death rate. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has affirmed that there is no evidence to prove that D614G has led to more severe diseases. The mutation was first discovered as early as February and it has been found around Europe and America.
With the emergence of potential Covid-19 vaccines, Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah has voiced out his concerns that these vaccines may not have any effect on the mutated strain. On the other hand, Paul has said that such a mutation is less likely to affect the effectiveness of the vaccines.
“The mutant affects the binding of the spike protein and not necessarily the recognition of the protein by the immune system, which would be primed by a vaccine,” he said.
What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments!
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