A consortium of scientists discovered a new variant of the coronavirus. It is another of the many variants that have appeared around the world from the spread of the virus that was identified in China.
The appearance of new variants is part of the natural evolution of viruses. The longer they circulate and the more people are infected, the more likely there are variants of the coronavirus.
Some have no health impact. But others are classified as “of concern” or of “interest” according to their ability to be transmitted and affect more people, and because of the possibility of producing more cases of severe symptoms.
The identification of the new variant was carried out by the Corona-Omica-RJ Network that performs genomic monitoring. Professionals from the Fiocruz Institute, the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, and the Getulio Vargas Foundation, among other academic centers, participate in this collaboration.
As Humberto Debate, a biologist and researcher at INTA, explained to Infobae, “It must be said that even the P5 variant was not registered in a network called PANGO Network. Scientists discuss there whether or not it can eventually be accepted as a new variant and then GISAID will incorporate it ”.
The government of Rio de Janeiro announced the detection of a new variant of the coronavirus in the interior of that state next to the border with Sao Paulo, both located in the southeastern region of Brazil, the most populated in the country. “So far it cannot be said that (the new variant) is more lethal or transmissible” than the other strains, the State Health Secretariat said in a statement. Until now, the variant has been located through cases registered in the municipality of Porto Real, in the south of the state.
Rio de Janeiro has been one of the states hardest hit by the pandemic with 54,500 deaths. Until now, in Rio de Janeiro the predominant variant continues to be P1, which after emerging in the Amazon region spread throughout Brazil and other countries. That variant was declared of concern by the World Health Organization and is now called Gamma with the new Greek letter name identification system. The variant reported for the first time in India is Delta, which is causing a re-emergence of cases in countries such as England and Israel.