The contagious variant of omicron is currently holding the world in suspense when a new variant is making headlines: In France, a traveler returning from Cameroon has infected twelve people in southern France with a new variant of the B.1.640 virus. 2.
Variant B.1.640.2: multiple omicron mutations
Not much is known about the Central African variant. In a preliminary study, scientists at IHU Mediterranee Infection in Marseille said they had identified 46 mutations in the variant. The omcron variant has 37 mutations. According to the first results, the new viral variant B.1.640.2 contains the already known mutations N501Y and E484K. The former has already been identified in the alpha variant and is known to bind more strongly to cells and thus be able to spread better.
How dangerous is B.1.640.2?
Experts have not yet been able to say anything specific about the new mutant. Opposite to RTL General practitioner and medical journalist Dr. Christoph Specht said that it is not yet known exactly how to evaluate B.1.640.2. “How B.1.640.2 behaves in relation to the infection process, the spread and vaccinations is not yet fully understood,” he explains to the broadcaster. However, the doctor assumes that the new variant will have almost no meaning and could “disappear quickly”. Because mutations are not uncommon in the case of a circulating virus – as has been shown in recent months. As long as the coronavirus continues to spread, it will mutate more frequently. “Further mutations will arise after Omicron. Omicron – and perhaps the new mutation as well – will not be the latest variants to be discovered, “says Dr Picchio.
Sources: rtl.de, bild.de, t-online.de