A ban on people from Brazil and neighboring countries entering the UK is expected to be imposed after the emergence of a new variant of Covid in the South American nation

The Brazilian mutation is the third variant that scientists have identified as worrying around the world in recent weeks, so how concerned should we be?

First, the question arises whether this variant is more infectious than the original coronavirus strains, which will lead to more cases

Sir Patrick Vallance, the government’s chief scientific adviser, said Wednesday that the Brazilian tribe has “some of the characteristics” of the British and South African variants that are more transmissible

The Brazilian variant carries the mutation E484K, which means that the genetic code of the virus at position 484 changes, similar to the South African strain

“We’re seeing mutations popping up around the world that are pretty similar in terms of changes,” Sir Patrick told ITV’s Peston program

Any more transmissible variant is a cause for concern as more transmission means more cases, leading to more hospitalizations, and therefore more deaths, which is not the same as a variant that is more virulent or dangerous to a person

That brings us to the second point: is the Brazilian variant more dangerous? According to Sir Patrick, there is no evidence that this variant – and the strains in the UK and South Africa – will not cause any more serious illness in a person, so the risk is on the order of the magnitude of the cases it can cause in a population

Sir Patrick said, “There is no evidence at all that any of these variants make the disease itself more severe”

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This means that the risk of catching this variant – if it is endemic in a population – is higher compared to the original coronavirus because it is more contagious

According to scientists, the risk that you will develop a serious illness from this variant is about the same as with existing coronavirus strains

Third, what impact will this Brazilian variant have on vaccines? The answer is not yet clear

As Sir Patrick explained, the mutation changes the shape of the protein, which can affect the immune system’s response to the virus This can potentially affect the way a vaccine works

However, regarding the UK variant, the chief scientific adviser said that there is still no evidence “that it makes a difference how the immune system recognizes you and whether you have been exposed to the old variant or had a vaccine,” it looks like it will work just as well with this new variant for the UK “

He added, “[For] the South African and Brazilian we don’t know for sure, there’s a slightly greater risk that this will change the way the immune system recognizes this, but we don’t know”

However, if a new variant makes a vaccine less effective, it is not a disaster. Vaccines can be adapted to adapt to changes in a virus – this is exactly what happens every year with the flu vaccine.This would of course mean that those already against Covid- 19 vaccinated people may have less protection against a new variant that works this way

With an urgent ministerial meeting to discuss a travel ban for Brazil and neighboring countries, the UK government firmly believes it needs to act quickly to limit the spread

For people arriving from South America and many other countries in the world, there is already a mandatory quarantine period of 10 days

However, quarantining newcomers is not as safe as an outright ban as it is less enforceable

The relatively good news is that no cases of this Brazilian strain have been identified in the UK Given that all of these new variants are spreading faster, it is possible that they are already in the country

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World news – GB – How dangerous the new Brazilian coronavirus strain is – and what it is for Means vaccine

Source: https://inews.co.uk/news/politics/brazil-covid-variant-new-strain-coronavirus-how-dangerous-vaccine-explained-829517