'Eeek': New mutations in UK worry experts as virus surge continues

WION Web Team
London Published: Feb 03, 2021, 09:53 AM(IST)

File photo Photograph:( Reuters )

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Reports say there are more mutations which have yet to be discovered as the virus enters a new, more unpredictable phase.

According to UK health experts, cases of coronavirus mutations are taking place at a faster pace even as the country makes rapid strides in vaccination.

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The new mutation E484K named “Eeek” is being seen in the South African variant which the British government had announced in December. Reports say there are already eleven cases of the new mutation in the UK in Bristol and Liverpool.

Reports say a large number of cases have also been reported of the UK 'Kent' variant with the E484K mutation.

All viruses mutate including the SARS-CoV-2 which has been mutating at a rapid pace in order to maximise its survival chances. However, when it replicates, small errors in its genetic coding are seen.

New mutations have recently occurred in South Africa, Britain and Brazil. Evidence suggests that the coronavirus infects individuals for around ten days before the body neutralises it, however, according to some studies some patients have carried the virus longer maximising the chances of mutation.

The transferable strain from South Africa has led to a surge in cases in the UK. Britain currently is the worst-hit country due to the virus with over 3.8 million cases and 108,225 deaths so far.

Reports say there are more mutations which have yet to be discovered as the virus enters a new, more unpredictable phase. There is still no confirmation that the “Eeek” variant is more transferable as virologists continue to test the new strain.

University of Washington biologist Carl Bergstrom said on Twitter: "And because the total number of cases continues to grow exponentially, it is not hard to argue that more variants of concern arose this winter and remain undetected than arose in fall and now are on our radar."

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