Brazilian mutant: study shows increased danger

Forum Health Brazilian mutant: study shows increased danger

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    Brazilian mutant: study shows increased danger

    The corona mutation P.1 has been spreading in Brazil since the beginning of November. The mutant has now also arrived in Germany, and according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the first cases were spotted in Hesse as early as January. A current study by Brazilian and British researchers, which does not give the virus mutation a good report, is also cause for concern: the transmission could be around twice as high, and re-infection of infected people of the original virus strain is also possible.

    Hotspot: Manaus

    In the middle of last year the Brazilian city of Manaus got more and more in the headlines. At that time, the main reports were the collapse of the health system. Responsible for this were, on the one hand, the severe course of the disease, on the other hand, the policy of President Jair Bolsonaro, who reacted only hesitantly and rather inadequately to its spread. He repeatedly called the virus itself a “hysteria and” fantasy “towards the public. In addition, experts also hoped for widespread herd immunity, which should wipe out the virus. The disillusionment followed at the end of 2020: The majority of the population had been infected with the virus mutation that was widespread at the time, but was not entirely immune to the new variant P.1. The new mutant then spread to other parts of the world as a result of air traffic.

    Exact distribution not comprehensible

    The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) has an interactive graphic for the current corona numbers, but there is no precise breakdown of the individual virus mutations. This is due to the administrative offices of the federal states, which do not collect uniform data or even link it to one another. A national database that enables mutation tracking is currently lacking, making it impossible to trace the spread of mutation variants. Interested parties can therefore currently only rely on current media reports. With the Brazilian variant, for example, only a handful of cases have so far officially been known, including Hesse, Thuringia, Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia. However, the RKI expects further cases and outbreaks of the P.1 mutant.

    Brand new study with worrying results

    What makes the situation even more precarious: The new mutant is also 1.4 to 2.2 times more contagious than the actual virus strain. In addition, a renewed infection with the mutated variant is 25 to 61 percent more likely. This is due to their ability to evade protective immunity through previous infection. In addition, the Chinese vaccine used in Brazil is not very effective against P.1, which could further promote the infection process. However, an exact assessment is only possible when the properties of P.1 have been determined in more detail, believe the study authors with a view to the results.

    Rapid molecular evolution

    The researchers also have to consider the mutation line of P.1. In total, it has acquired 17 mutations, which is astonishingly high for coronaviruses. This leaves the question of how dangerous further mutations of this variant could be in the future. In addition, a review of the effectiveness of the current vaccines is still pending. It is assumed, however, that the new variant has a higher resistance and thus an overall poorer vaccination protection. If necessary, adjustments to the current vaccines or new, more effective active ingredients would then have to be produced. In the meantime, the corona mutant is also spreading in Japan, where the first cases have already been reported. Due to the worldwide unclear data situation regarding mutations, including here in Germany, it is not possible to assess where and whether the Brazilian variant is already spreading everywhere. Therefore, at the moment, you can only be advised to be more careful with regard to compliance with the AHA-L rules in order to protect yourself from possible infection with the corona mutation P.1.

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Forum Health Brazilian mutant: study shows increased danger