If you are active on social media you must be familiar with the nee Covid-19 mutation memes. A new year, a new Covid, Covid-20 is on-trend. However, is there any truth underlying these memes? If yes, how will it affect the world and India?
It is a well-known biological fact that mutation occurs faster in viruses than human. It is nothing new. The entire theory of evolution of life is based on mutation. In simplest terms, the mutation is nothing but a slight change in the building blocks of the cell. The effect of this mutation can range from having different physical features, to being no effect at all. Variations in the virus are nothing new. All types of the virus show variations after some time. However, if it is something as fatal as Coronavirus, it's natural for people to be anxious. We have the experience of influenza virus. The vaccine of influenza virus has to be updated every year to keep up with the new strains forming due to mutation.
Experts say that Covid-19 is less likely to mutate as much as influenza. However, there is a mutation spread across Europe. For now, this has not done anything to increase or decrease the ferocity of the disease. However, it might increase the transmissibility of the virus. The new strain hasn't spread in India. But this is no reason to celebrate. Likewise, it is no reason for unnecessary panic.
Nobody knows if any more such mutations will occur or not in near future or can we develop a universal vaccine capable of preventing Coronathrough all the mutations. Only time will tell. In the meanwhile, all we can do is to take all the necessary precautions and follow the guidelines to stop the spread of novel Coronavirus without giving in to any kind of rumours.