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Expert warns new ‘super mutant’ strains will be more infectious than Indian variant

by LLB staff reporter
27th May 21 11:20 am

Professor Ravi Gupta, a University of Cambridge professor of clinical microbiology warned that new “super mutant” strains will be more infectious than the Indian variant.

Covid will try to become even more efficient in spreading through the population and this “is just the beginning.”

However, Professor Gupta said that this will “not necessarily be a terrible thing” as people will develop a mild illness due to the vaccine rollout.

But he cautioned we should not “be overconfident” due to the “unpredictable” nature of the virus.

He was asked how we should prepare for new variants, he said, “I think that we have good vaccines, now we need to keep the pressure on vaccine designers, manufacturers to adapt vaccines.

“Secondly, the virus is going to do some weird things. I mean, this is just the beginning.

“I think it’s going to recombine, you’re going to get super mutant viruses, I believe.”

Professor Gupta added, “But that’s not not necessarily a terrible thing, but the virus is going to do very unexpected things because the amount of pressure on it is going to be severe, so it will adapt.

“We know that people still get chronic infections and that’s how this all happens in general.

“It’s hard to say what is going to happen, but the virus is going to find ways of becoming more infectious, you can see that already, when it’s under pressure it will try and be more efficient in transmission so that it can achieve the job with fewer virus particles.”

The vaccines effectiveness cannot be guaranteed against future deaths, as it is difficult to keep the UK vaccinated.

Professor Gupta added, “We see with flu, we have a lot of deaths each year from flu in vulnerable groups.

“We try to vaccinate them first to protect them, but it doesn’t always work.

“But I don’t think we should say it’s going to be like flu automatically, I think that this is an unpredictable virus and we shouldn’t be overconfident at any stage.”

Last week a scientific expert said the new UK Indian variant of Covid has been upgraded from a “variant of concern” to “warning level.”

US epidemiologist Dr Eric Feigl-Ding warned a “new faster transmission B16172, Indian variant, will likely dethrone the B117, Brazilian variant, and become dominant in the United Kingdom in a matter of days.

“The new Indian variant could pose unknown dangers.

“Since the B16172, Indian variant, was upgraded last week by both World Health Organization (WHO) and the UK, it has doubled in cases.”

He warned that the “Indian variant is worrisome” which is “spreading very fast” through out the UK.”

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