Covid19 – 77 cases of B.1.617 variant found in UK
Health authorities in Britain have identified 77 cases of the highly infectious B.1.617 variant of Coronavirus, which causes Covid-19, first found in India, and has designated it a Variant Under Investigation.
The B.1.617 variant of SARS-CoV-2 carries two mutations, E484Q and L452R. Both are separately found in many other coronavirus variants, but they have been reported together for the first time in India.
The two mutations are found in the virus’s spike protein. The spike protein helps the virus to bind itself to the human cell’s receptors and gain entry into a host cell.
The B.1.617 strain’s mutations are feared to make the variant spread faster and partially evade immunity. The variant is believed to be largely responsible for India’s current second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, with infection rates and hospitalisations on the rise once again.