London: A new coronavirus variant has been detected in the UK that shares many similarities with the South African variant and has potentially concerning mutations.
According to experts, the B.1.525 variant contains a genetic change called E484K which has an alarming set of new mutations. It has been found in 10 countries including Denmark, the US and Australia while there are 32 known cases in the UK.
The E484K mutation can escape human defenses which makes them more efficient at evading natural immunity. It is also found in the Brazilian and South African variants.
The Public Health England (PHE) has said that there is no evidence that the mutations in the new variant could cause severe disease or make the virus more contagious.
The alterations make it similar to the UK 'Kent' variant that experts say is more contagious than the original version of coronavirus that started the pandemic.
As per the study of the University of Edinburgh, B.1.525 shares many similarities with the B.1.1.7 Kent variant and it is more contagious than the original version of coronavirus that started the pandemic
Earlier in December 2020, researchers detected B.1.1.7 variant which was about 56% more transmissible than earlier variants of the virus. Since then the variant has been identified in at least 45 countries, including the United States.
However, the British scientists estimated that B.1.1.7 is 30% to 70% more deadly than earlier variants of the novel coronavirus.