22 December, 2020
3 Min Read
New variant of Coronavirus in UK?
Coronavirus is a highly important topic for UPSC Mains and Prelims examination 2021. It is a part of GS Paper II and GS Paper III under Science and Technology.
The first Variant Under Investigation in December 2020 (VUI – 202012/01), also known as lineage B.1.1.7, is a variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The variant was first detected in the United Kingdom in October 2020 from a sample taken the previous month, and it quickly began to spread by mid-December. It is correlated with a significant increase in the rate of COVID-19 infection in England; this increase is thought to be at least partly because of mutation N501Y inside the spike glycoprotein's receptor-binding domain, which is needed for binding to ACE2 in human cells.
The new virus strains spread 70% faster with similar lethal effect; Cases reported in South Africa, Australia, Italy, Spain and parts of Europe.
This variant includes a mutation in the ‘spike’ protein. Changes in this part of the spike protein may result in the virus becoming more infectious and spreading more easily between people.
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