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INTERNATIONAL: Covid mutants on the prowl

First the UK and then South Africa: new coronavirus variants are springing up across the world.

While those nations got all the heat for the new variants, the reality is that both just happen to have advanced genome-sequencing processes to look for mutations, the Economist reported. (Thank South Africa’s world class scientists for that.)

Around 30 countries have reported some sort of variant; early evidence shows current vaccines will still combat these.

Most strains are different from each other. It’s not deliberate, this happens with viruses: they change so they can spread more and thrive. Cheeky little b*stards, we know. 

As the Economist pointed out: “Evolutionary biologists have shrugged at the appearance of the mutations: this is how viruses behave, for natural selection favours variants that are more transmissible and less deadly. Some viruses that cause common colds may have started out as vicious as SARS-CoV-2 and moderated in their old age.”

But nothing is certain yet, and a lot is still being studied. Again, just wear your mask. 

This brief was first published in The Wrap here.

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