New variant discovered in Vietnam
After the British and Indian variants, another corona mutation has now been discovered in Vietnam that is said to be more quickly transferable.
From a purely scientific perspective, it is perfectly normal for a virus to mutate. But especially with regard to the coronavirus, we hear reports of mutations as worrying. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have kept hearing about different variants. The Indian variant was discovered last, but that shouldn’t be the last: Vietnam is now reporting a new mutation.
Corona variant in Vietnam
The Vietnamese government officially stated that a new variant of the corona virus had been discovered. According to Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long, it has properties of both the British and the Indian variants. In addition, laboratory tests should indicate that this so far nameless variant spreads faster than others, especially via the air, as reported by the “Tagesschau”. This is due to the fact that the amount of virus in the throat of the infected person increases extremely quickly.
The mutation could possibly be the reason for the increasing number of infections recently. Compared to other countries, Vietnam had registered very few infections. From the beginning of the pandemic to April 2021, almost 3,400 corona cases were reported in the Asian country. Around 3000 have been added since the beginning of May. The minister did not say how many people have been infected with this new variant so far.
Virus mutations are not uncommon
A virus keeps evolving – it’s a natural process. Viruses keep changing their genetic makeup during replication. “There will be many more such variants. Most of the time, those that are better transmitted are successful,” says medical expert Dr. Specht opposite RTL. Various mutations have formed since the beginning of the corona pandemic, but not all of them have a clinical significance.
So far, the World Health Organization has classified “only” four variants of the coronavirus as particularly worrying: the British, South African, Brazilian and Indian variants. It remains to be seen whether the variant discovered in Vietnam will also receive this classification.
Sources used: tagesschau.de, euro.who.int, RTL, netdoktor.de