Dr. Fauci Says This Is Why the Latest COVID Mutation Worries Him
The coronavirus has kept the scientific community busy with new symptoms and the search for a safe and reliable vaccine. But like viruses do, SARS-CoV-2 has changed itself in the months since it spread around the world. Anthony Fauci, MD says there is something special about the latest COVID mutation that worries him: "It could be a little more transmissible." Read on to find out how and to learn more about Fauci, read Dr. Fauci. Just said the 4 words you've been waiting for.
During a video interview with students and faculty at the College of the Holy Cross on October 6, Fauci was asked about the different strains of the novel coronavirus that currently exist and whether the mutations had made it more virulent or difficult to develop an effective vaccine against.
He explained that the recent COVID mutation could mean the virus can now spread more easily, saying that "the assumption, although not yet fully proven, is more likely to be transmissible".
Short view of an attractive young businesswoman sitting alone in her office and coughing while suffering from a cold
"When the scientists examined [the new mutation], they found that this new strain - which is now common around the world [after] somehow kicking out the original strain - and in vitro, not yet in a person - binds better and replicated more efficiently at the receptors of a wide variety of cells that have been grown in culture, "explains Fauci.
But the director of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) also had some good news, assuring that "there are no more virulent strains."
"Viruses rarely become more virulent as they permeate society. Generally, they become less virulent as they adapt with greater transmissibility," said Fauci. "I just think what you're going to see is that it could be a little bit more transmissible, at least according to receptor binding, but we have to look at it physiologically."
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Fauci's comments support recent findings that the newly mutated strain of COVID-19 is likely more contagious, albeit less deadly, than the original. Scientists even believe that the mutated virus could help stimulate better immune responses in patients. The strain is also not so radically changed that it is impossible to vaccinate against it.
The mutation "makes the particles more contagious," said Dr. Jeremy Luban, a virologist at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, told Nature. "We have to keep our eyes open for further changes."
Now scientists are saying they need more experiments replicating real-world transmission to test those assumptions about the latest COVID mutation. For more information on the virus's movement, see These Are The States Where COVID Deaths Are Currently Increasing.
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