New and Worse Mutations of Coronavirus Has Scientists Worried

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Hoel_121011_DSC_3526F by World Bank Photo Collection is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

As America continues to fight COVID-19, scientists are warning that a much worse mutation has come up.

As of now the mutated strain of the coronavirus has been seen in the UK and researchers are saying that it is still under investigation.

Details of the New Mutation

According to recent reports, over half of new infections in the British city of London are being caused by the new strain, which some say is more infectious. The mutated COVID virus is being called the “501Y variant” and doctors believe it could be more infectious because of adaptation.

“There is an really unusual cluster of mutations associated with this variant – 22 coding changes across the whole virus genome,” said Wendy Barclay who studies viruses at the Imperial College London.

Are We in Danger?

At this point scientists have not indicated that the 501Y variant is more deadly than the regular COVID-19 virus, although they do believe it is more infectious. It is not clear what extra precautions, testing or vaccination research may be happening in order to deal with mutations.

At the same time, the real danger of the future is in a disease much worse than the coronavirus with a much higher death rate.

The scientist who discovered the Ebola virus is Professor Jean-Jacques Muyembe Tamfum and he is now warning that the coronavirus is nothing compared to what is likely coming in the future. Tamfum has studied viruses and diseases since the 1970s and was key in finding out what was going on with Ebola, a horrific virus that kills over 90% of those it infects and is much more dangerous than COVID.

Working in the African nation of Congo to find out what was going on, Tamfum’s analysis of blood samples revealed the viral disease which was later named “Ebola” after Congo’s Ebola river. It is believed the disease first spread from fruit bats to humans in Congo.

President Donald Trump Visits NIH by National Institutes of Health (NIH) is marked with CC PDM 1.0

A Warning from the Congo

The Ebola virus broke out in 1976 in the Congo and a nearby area of South Sudan. Outbreaks still occasionally happen in Africa, including an outbreak in West Africa in 2013 that killed over 11,000 people. 

Tamfum works now in the capital of the Congo called Kinshasha at an infectious disease research lab. His research has led him to the conclusion that much worse diseases than COVID are on the horizon because of the growing risk of zoonotic diseases.

Zoonotic diseases are where viruses spread from animals to humans. Tamfum is warning about dangerous “new pathogens” that are out in nature and could threaten everyone, warning “that’s what constitutes a threat for humanity.”

The COVID-19 pandemic is believed to have started in a wet market in Wuhan, China at the end of last year and spread from bats to humans, although alternate theories that it may be related to biological weapons research or an error at a research lab have also been advanced, including by President Trump.

The coronavirus has infected millions of people worldwide and COVID-related illness has killed over 1.5 million people globally since the pandemic started. Tamfum is warning that futrue pandemics will be much more “apocalyptic” than what we are currently experiencing, and a scientist who helped in the study and fight against Ebola he definitely knows what he is talking about and the risk of disease in the future.

One of the causes of the spread of zoonotic illness is the meat industry, which often keeps livestock in tightly-packed areas without proper sanitation or attention to the danger of disease spread and contact with humans.