A new study has reported the discovery of a third mutation of the new coronavirus in 13 countries, which has raised concerns among scientists and health experts. Earlier, two mutations of Covid-19 were detected in Both Britain and South Africa, before rapidly spreading to many other countries.
Researchers at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland said that the new COVID mutation is called E484K and that it is likely to be more dangerous as it can evade antibodies from currently available vaccines.
The new variant was found in 13 countries on 5 continents, which means it has been on the loose for some time before being discovered. These countries include the United States, Canada, Denmark, Britain, France, Belgium, Spain, Finland, Nigeria, Ghana, Jordan, Australia and Singapore.
Researchers believe that the first sample containing the new mutation dates back to December 15 last year. The study, published on Monday, found that the same mutation in new Covid variant, named B1525, has been present in the three variants discovered earlier, which are B117 variant (first detected in the Britain), the B1351 variant (South Africa) and the B1128 variant (Brazil).
"I think that until we know more about these variants, any variants which carry E484K should be subject to surge testing as it seems to confer resistance to immunity, however that is generated," said Simon Clarke, an associate professor of cellular microbiology at the University of Reading, to The Guardian.
Clarke added that they are yet to find out how well the variant will spread and if it succeeds in a widespread, it means that immunity from any previous vaccine or infection will be weakened. The new variant should be included in efforts to boost testing to pick up variants of concern, he said.
The detected new variant is the highest in UK with 39 cases, followed by Denmark (35) and Nigeria (29).