New COVID-19 variant found has dangerous spike protein mutations

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European countries have detected a new coronavirus variant that has some mutations that scientists have never seen before.

What is the new Europe COVID-19 variant?

French paper Le Telegramme reported that the new variant — called B.1.X or B.1.640 — infected 24 people in a French school in October. Since then, a handful of cases have been discovered in the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Scotland and Italy.

  • The variant hasn’t spread too far because the delta variant is so dominant.

Why is the new Europe COVID-19 variant dangerous?

Cyrille Cohen, a professor at Bar-Ilan University in Israel, told The Jerusalem Post that the B.1.640 variant has some new mutations we haven’t seen.

  • For example, the spike protein, which allows the virus to latch onto the human cell and infect people, has deletions that haven’t been noticed before. This could make it harder for vaccines to identify the spike protein before it infects people.

Where did the Europe COVID-19 variant come from?

Cohen told The Jerusalem Post the variant likely came from Africa, which probably wouldn’t have happened if the world had more access to vaccines.

  • “This variant exemplifies that if you leave some of the world’s population without access to vaccines, then the virus will continue to multiply and it will lead to more variants,” Cohen said.

Why should you keep an eye on this variant?

The new variant emerges as cases across Europe have spiked. Experts said there could be a new COVID variant circulating in Europe right now, which is why cases have surged so fast, according to CNBC.



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