The Coronavirus hit the world in late 2019, and by early 2020, it had spread to every country in the world. While there are attempts to find an effective vaccine by the end of 2021, the virus seems to be mutating at an insane level. Recently news about a new strain of the novel Coronavirus hit the headlines, causing a new wave of panic and lockdown all over. The following article details everything you need to know about this new strain of the Covid 19 virus from its symptoms, causes, and whether or not the recently developed vaccine can fight it.
Symptoms of the new Coronavirus strain
The new Covid 19 variant is believed to be more transmissible than the original virus. While it is no doubt that the Coronavirus, like all viruses, mutates, this disease seems to be mutating at an even faster level.
It is important to note that Covid affects people differently, and the signs may vary from one person to another. That said, below are some of the symptoms that are visible in anyone with this new variant.
The most common symptoms in patients with Coronavirus include:
- Dry cough
- High fever
The lesser common symptoms include:
- Pains and aches
- Loss of smell and taste
- Sore throat
- Inability to stay awake or wake up
- Discoloration in toes and fingers and a rash on the skin
The patient may also experience the following symptoms:
- Chest pain akin to something heavy placed in the chest
- Shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing
- Loss of speech and eventually, loss of movement
If you or your loved one experience any or all of the symptoms highlighted above seek medical attention as soon as possible. You also need to quarantine yourself if you suspect that you have Covid if you can’t get to a health facility quickly.
Winter is usually the season for colds and cases of flu to thrive. People in colder areas need to pay closer attention to any flulike symptoms they may exhibit.
Causes of the B117 (the Coronavirus strain)
Research shows that coronavirus originated from bats. The disease is common in certain species of animals such as camels and cattle, while the transmission from animals to humans is rare, this new variant most likely originated from bats and pangolins, as new studies show.
Doctors found the new Covid strain in patients in December, and research since then has suggested that it is about 70 percent transmissible. The new strain uses the spike protein to gain entry into the body’s cells. While there is varying research about its transmissibility value, most research seems to back up the theory that this new strain is far more deadly than the original one.
Studies conducted by the Imperial College London suggest that the new variant increases the virus’ reproduction by between 0.4 and 0.7. Although the numbers might not sound like much, the data is a lot if you are talking about transmissibility.
For an epidemic to be contained, its reproductive number must be maintained at below 1. If the number surpasses the 1 mark, it ultimately translates to one infected person transmitting the diseases to one extra person or more.
The speed at which the new strain is spreading means that it has certain mutations to its genome that make it deadly. Researchers state that although genetic mutations are an expected part of a virus’s evolution, some viruses sometimes get advantageous mutations that help them acquire other variants, thus becoming more powerful.
Should we expect to see more mutations?
The answer to this question is yes. As long as the Coronavirus is still amidst us, we can expect to see new and developed mutations of the virus. Although new strains of the virus were realized in 2020, researchers are certain that the disease won’t change how it behaves in the human body.
Scientists suggest that at least one strain is detected every week. Some come and go while others persist for a time before fizzling in the population to make room for new ones. The researchers can’t tell the driving force for the increasing trend of new strains of the Coronavirus yet. However, they do speculate that it might be due to changes in the virus or human behavior.
Is the new vaccine going to be effective on the new Coronavirus strain?
When Coronavirus hit, researchers went to extreme lengths to find the cure for it. A year later, a vaccine has been found, and people can breathe a sigh of relief as they wait to get back to their normal lives. This is, however, threatened with the discovery of the new Coronavirus strain in the UK.
Research is currently underway to examine the variant and understand it better. Scientists are looking into whether the new strain would be immune to the already developing vaccines. The World Health Organization stipulates that every vaccine developed should have at least a 50 percent efficacy.
The vaccines currently reduce the severity of the disease and not destroy it entirely. However, most vaccine manufacturers have assured the population that their vaccines induce an immune response that can deal with mutated viruses.
Vaccines use messenger mRNA technology to teach the cells how it makes a protein, which triggers an immune response inside the body. The immune response then produces antibodies that help to protect the body from getting infected.
Pfizer recently conducted clinical trials on people who had taken the Covid vaccine and found that a certain amount of serum neutralized the original Covid 19 and the mutant variations indicating that the vaccine will be effective against the virus.
Contrary to common opinion, the vaccine does not cause coronavirus since it doesn’t contain any live pathogens. It would, however, be difficult to alter the genetic code’s sequence to match the new variant. If the vaccine proves ineffective against the new variant, the manufacturer would have to go back to the drawing board for another six weeks.
Anxiety treatment and Coronavirus
People who have had previous experiences with life threatening diseases such as Coronavirus may find themselves feeling more anxious than usual. Those who also have sickly relatives may get more anxious as they worry about their relatives’ wellbeing.
Symptoms for anxiety are very close to those of Covid 19. Someone suffering from an anxiety attack may experience:
- Shortness of breath
- chest pain
- feeling dizzy
Anxiety treatment options include:
- Behavioral therapy
- Antidepressants to alleviate your mood
- Taking anti-anxiety medications to help with the panic attacks
- Beta-blockers to help ease the physical; symptoms of anxiety
You can also try playing music anytime you feel anxious, meditating, and actively taking in your surroundings. Try blending with nature and breathe in. Pay keen attention to all your senses. You can activate your senses by touching something soft, chewing a mint-flavored gum, smelling something pleasant, or even go bird watching.
To fully cope with this pandemic, you should follow all the necessary guidelines by the World Health Organization. Such guidelines include washing your hands using soap and water. If you don’t have sop and water nearby, you should use a hand sanitizer with 60 percent alcohol.
Social distancing is also a great way to protect yourself from getting Covid. Ensure you maintain a distance of 6 m=feet apart from anyone near you. Also, if you are easily triggered, avoid watching tv for longer periods as the news about the effect of Coronavirus might be triggering.