The new Indian strain that was identified in October known as the “double mutant strain” or scientifically called as the B.1.617 strain is now classified as a “variant of concern” by the WHO.
Double Mutant Strain:
Based on the small lap sample tests, the Indian variant apparently seems to be more transmissible and are has a “reduced neutralization” meaning that is more resistant to antibodies, as said by American epidemiologist in the WHO Maria Van Kherkove.
She also claimed that it is too early to conclude now that most of the vaccines or COVID-19 diagnosis would not work against the new Indian strain. But as far as it is studied now, the current medications and diagnosis given to people remains effective in preventing the death and disease of people from B.1.617 variant.
The double-mutant Indian variant has been only “variant of interest” and is now categorized as a “variant of concern” by the WHO. Other mutated strains found in U.K, France, Brazil and South Africa as well are some of the strains classified as “variant of concern”.
Each of the identified mutated viral strain could be potentially more challenging than the original strain or the previous strains, as these new strains could be more transmissible, deadly and more resistant to antibodies induced into the system. Even though resistant, vaccine jabs are still powerful enough to prevent the infected person from serious illness or death.
Maria Van Kherkove told not to conclude or overestimate the strength of the new variant as there is no sufficient scientific evidence to prove that our diagnostics could be rendered effective less at the hands of the new strain.
WHO’s Chief Scientist urged for a balanced approach and re-assured that as far as now, the diagnostics, medicines and treatments used for regular virus will still work. And, there is no need to change with any of them, people should proceed to get vaccinated depending on their eligibility and availability.
New variants of viral strains continue to emerge around the world, with new variants there has to be potentially one more treatment method innovated as it cannot be expected that old treatment methods always work to curb new viral strains. So, vaccinations have to speed up as much as possible in order to prevent the vulnerability of human system to new COVID-19 strains.