Triple Mutant Bengal Strain (B.1.618) of Coronavirus and the Worst COVID Outbreak in India
India is currently the first most affected country in the world. In the ferocious second COVID wave, India has seen emergence of at least two unique mutations of SARS-CoV-2, but there are other infectious variants around the world that could be a factor too. As India reels under a surge of new COVID-19 cases and deaths, experts have theorised that the new second wave of infections is driven by the double mutant variant B.1.617 discovered in the country. The B.1.617 variant was first detected in Maharashtra in October. It was initially thought to comprise two mutations E484Q and L452R and hence, referred to as a double mutant variant. But now scientists believe the variant (B.1.618) consists of more mutations: E154K, P681R and Q1071H. It may evade some of the body’s immune response but scientists say most vaccines should still help reduce severity of disease.
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