•Takes Just 3 Days, Experts Reveal
Three new variants of COVID-19 have been detected in recent weeks, discoveries which have led to fresh fears across the world because some make the virus up to 70 percent more transmissible.
Viruses are known to change and mutate constantly. It is a process which happens as they are passed from person to person over a period of months.
So to scientists, it came as no surprise to witness new variants of the disease.
But, thankfully, while it is difficult to predict where new mutations of the disease will occur, none so far have been found to contain mutations that make the virus more likely to be able to evade vaccines or treatments.
One of the first strains reported is known as the UK variant, the other one is the variant said to have been discovered in South Africa. As for the UK variant, this mutation is thought to have first occurred in mid-September in the United Kingdom’s southeast, in the capital London or the county of Kent.
Referred to by some experts as the B.1.1.7 lineage, this has rapidly become the dominant strain in cases of COVID-19 in many parts of the UK.
According to experts, it appears to be slightly more fatal, and is more contagious than the original strain, which has led to the swift return of international travel restrictions and other measures amid the holiday season.
It can lead to the same broad symptoms as the original strain, including high temperature, persistent dry cough and a loss or change in taste and smell.
But, the latest discovery is a new variant that emerged in Nigeria. It is of a separate lineage from the other mutations.
This P681H variant does not seem to be spreading as fast as the other two new variants, but it has dealt a fairly severe blow on the Nigerian community, taking the country’s Covid-19 death toll to almost 1,500 with almost 110,000 cases reported. It is estimated that an average of between eight to ten people are killed by the deadly Corona virus every single day. Experts say this new variant is considered far more deadly and much more contagious than the first Coronavirus Nigerians encountered last year.
This is why it is killing its victims faster than ever before. Its transmission is much faster which explains why the spread has been extremely uncontrollable. Unlike before that it took about fourteen days for the virus to manifest once you have been infected, these days, in just three days, not only will it manifest but it can also kill within such a short time. That is how deadly this new variant is.
This is why many Nigerians are scared. Even those who didn’t believe the virus existed are now beginning to have a rethink because they see the can see the way the virus has been cutting short the lives of many Nigerians, particularly that of the elite and the rich. The rate at which the second wave of the virus is sweeping away its victims, especially prominent Nigerians, is frightening. This new variant also brings upon its victims severe illnesses. It knocks you down pretty fast and if the victim unfortunately has underlining illnesses such as Asthma, Diabetes, Hypertension, that is when Covid becomes a death sentence. It will tear you apart so fast and leaves you begging for death to come take you in just a matter of days. And the fact that that our Isolation centers and medical facilities have been overwhelmed by the rising number of cases has also not helped the situation either. The limited number of medical frontline workers available cannot deal with the humongous number of patients requiring professional help. This has also inadvertently aided the virus in killing more of its victims in just a matter of three days.
On the other hand, the UK variant has spread rapidly across Europe, with Italy, Denmark, and the Netherlands reporting new infections. Australia and Singapore have also detected cases of the fast-spreading UK variant. Countries including the United States have already requested negative COVID-19 tests from UK travelers.
Meanwhile, South Africa has also reported a new COVID-19 strain which appears to have mutated further than the UK variant. It has made its way to several countries including the UK.
Known as 501.V2, this variant is dominant among new confirmed infections in South Africa, and appears to be more infectious than the original virus, according to health officials and scientists leading the country’s virus strategy.
Though it is too early to confirm, this new strain could be responsible for driving the country’s current resurgence of the disease. Authorities in South Africa have introduced tougher restrictions as the number of total confirmed cases approaches one million.
While the variant transmits quickly and viral loads are higher, it is not yet clear whether it leads to more severe disease.
– WALE LAWAL