The new variant of Covid AY.4.2 appears highly transmissible but may not be fatal, ICMR scientist Dr Samiran Panda told News18.com. He also said there was “no need to create panic but everyone should escalate appropriate behavior for Covid”.

About 17 samples of a SARS-CoV2 variant called AY.4.2 have been identified in India.

AY.4.2 is a substrain of the delta variant of the Covid-19 SARS-CoV-2 virus while delta remains the most prevalent variant in India.

“The new delta variant appears to be highly transmissible but not fatal, as such. It could be more transmissible (or contagious) given that the virus does this for its survival because it needs more hosts (the human body), said Panda. , Head of the Department of Epidemiology at the International Center for Epidemiology at the International Center for Epidemiology (ICMR): ”

Panda explained, “Variants occur when viruses reproduce because the offspring do not look exactly like their parents. Efficient transmission does not necessarily go hand in hand with more virulence because increased virulence will make the infected host less mobile and may even lead to hospitalization and unfortunate death, which is not A smart move because viruses require living host cells to survive. They don’t have their own kitchen.”

“We should not create panic but intensified vigilance and appropriate behavior for Covid is essential. There is no place for complacency.”

According to GISAID, an open access genomic database of influenza and coronavirus viruses, seven samples of AY.4.2 were found in Andhra Pradesh, two in Karnataka, two in Telangana, four in Kerala, and one each in Jammu and Kashmir and Maharashtra.

Most variant found in the UK is still under investigation

AY.4.2 was detected in the UK at increased frequency.

“The AY.4.2 variant delta strain, also known as Delta Plus, has raised concern about its sequence found in about 10% of recent cases in the UK,” US scientist Eric Topol said in a tweet on October 24.

“AY.4.2 is still known as the variable under investigation or the variable of interest and not of concern. Hence, cluster-based studies will determine its characteristics in the coming days,” advised Panda.

In India, INSACOG – a pan-India multi-laborator and multi-agency network to monitor genetic variations in SARS-CoV-2 through a sentinel sequencing effort – is studying the characteristics of new virus strains.

The World Health Organization (WHO) describes mutations that make the variant more infectious or fatal as a “variable of concern”.

According to Banda, who is also director of ICMR’s National AIDS Research Institute (NARI), a combination of vaccine and the use of masks should be followed without exception.

“The new or the old variant is spreading by the same means – so let’s use the mask and beat SARS-CoV-2.”

While masks will prevent transmission, vaccines will attempt to reduce hospitalization and death. We must follow these two processes, regardless of any mutation or variant.”

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