The Japanese National Institute of Infectious Diseases said they found a new, different from those spreading in the UK and South Africa, a coronavirus mutation.
According to experts, the strain was identified in four people who flew to Japan from Brazil on January 2. It is of concern because of its higher contagiousness, the institute says.
“The composition contains mutations N501Y and E484K in the key contact site of the spike protein”, – follows from the press release.
Scientists argue that the new mutation’s collected data is limited to information about the nucleotide sequence of genes. Therefore, it isn’t easy to assess the level of pathogenicity and the effectiveness of existing vaccines.
It is known that currently one of the infected with the new strain – a 40-year-old man – is in the hospital due to breathing problems. An infected woman has sore throat and headaches, and the child has a high fever. The fourth patient does not feel unwell.
A new mutation of the coronavirus, which has already been recognized by WHO as the fastest spreading, was first discovered in the UK in September 2020. The changes affected the spike protein area on the coronavirus’s surface, which is responsible for attachment to cells located in the mucous membrane of the lungs and several other organs.