The Covid-19 virus keeps on mutating as we speak, this has led to a stream of various virulent strains that have taken the health infrastructure by shock yet again. The strain is now found to be a sub-variant of the AY.1 (Delta) Covid-19 variant and a lineage of the AY.2 strain is called AY 4.2 that was responsible for infecting 1/10 people in the United Kingdom.
This variant is known to multiply quickly due to its double virulent spike protein and is reportedly 50% more transmissible than the older variants. The variant has been found in Bangalore, Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh.
AY.4.2 is what’s termed a “lineage”.To illustrate their relatedness these labels are given to branch the COVID evolutionary. The custodians of lineages and handling the assignment of new ones is overseen by the Pango network, which is a joint team of researchers from the universities of Edinburgh and Oxford.
The AY forms of the virus aren’t vastly different from what’s come before, even though the labeling is different. As a further AY evolutionary step, a new letter combination is started to avoid getting too long once the labeling gets five levels deep. They are all sub-lineages of the delta and so far 75 AY lineages have been identified.
The AY.4 virus in England has been growing in its infection rate and researchers are still bound to find out whether this is a founder effect phenomenon or not, whereby a subset of viruses get separated from the overall viral population and then reproduce in isolation. Where ever they are separated viruses, all subsequent viruses will therefore be descendants of this subset. A1711V which is the mutation of the AY.4 affects the virus’s Nsp3 protein which plays a vital role in viral replication. Y145H and A22V that affect the spike protein are the two additional genetic mutations that define Nsp3. The virus’s outer surface and the part of its structure that it uses to get inside cells is enabled by the key part, the spike protein.
Homecare services and Doctors-on-call need to be prepared along with the country’s infrastructure, as though the AY.4 has taken Britain and Denmark by storm, it has lingered out in places like Germany and Ireland. So ensuring protection by PPE’s and Social distance is important in ensuring the virus doesn’t make a breeding ground in the sub-continent.
Eating immunity-boosting food and nutrients is important to remain immune and prevent any infection from the AY.4.2 variant.
In the last wave that rocked India, bedside assistants and home nurses had made a huge impact, as they were responsible for taking care and ensuring the health and safety of the covid-19 patients did not get worse, we may see them again in the forefront if the strain AY.4.2 isn’t constrained immediately.
AY.4.2 is still in its early stages of infection in India and it is still too early to tell if this is the beginning of the next dominant lineage, and still, experimental work needs to confirm if this new variant will have the ability of escaping immunity. The vaccines that have saved India in the past have to be also tested out against this variant.
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