COVID…The Remix


Picture provided by Canva. Model of COVID-19 virus under microscopic view.

The first evidence of the new Covid-19 strain was found in southeastern England. This new variant of the virus is called B.1.1.7 This strain is known to be more contagious than the original strain. It rapidly spread in the UK and caused the nation to go in lockdown again.

The COVID-19 virus had originated from the SARS-Cov-2. The SARS- Cov-2 has multiple strains of viruses, COVID-19 has been the one that has spread and is the most fatal one of them.

Like SARS-Cov-2, COVID-19 has also produced strains.

“Viruses aren’t exactly living things, but they want to survive,” says Mrs. McIntyre, a Biomed teacher at Farmington High School. Mrs. Reeves explains how viruses take over one body after another in order to survive, and as they do this they make many copies of themselves, if even one protein in the viruses’ RNA code changes, this could create a completely new variant of the same virus.

By September 2020, the B.1.1.7 variant was the most common form of COVID-10 in southeastern England.

One of the most common concerns with this new variant being on the rise is- Is it more dangerous than the original strand?

The CDC says, “This variant spreads more easily and quickly than other variants. Currently, there is no evidence that it causes more severe illness or increased risk of death.”

According to John Hopkins Medicine, “Some scientists explain that for a virus to survive, it may be more advantageous for it to evolve so that it spreads more easily. On the other hand, viruses don’t get the chance to reproduce if they mutate to become deadly.” So, masks, social distancing, and sanitization are still advised.

Another more important question on the publics’ mind is- Will COVID-19 vaccines that came out recently work to cure this new strain and all future stains?

“As of right now, scientists believe the vaccine will still protect against the mutated strain(s),” says Mrs. McIntyre. But, it is not clear what future strains will look like, so there is always a possibility that future strains might need a completely new vaccine.

A strain similar to B.1.1.7 has recently been found in Ohio. “The new variant carries a mutation identical to the U.K. strain, but it likely arose in a virus strain already present in the United States,” say scientists at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and College of Medicine.

Colorado has confirmed 5 cases of the B.1.1.7 cases. Several other states have found cases similar to the B.1.1.7, but haven’t been confirmed yet.