UK And California Covid Variants Merge Into New Mutation- Scientist Warn Of Third Wave.
Scientists have discovered that the two major strains of the Covid-19 virus have combined their genomes, giving rise to a heavily mutated hybrid and raising fears of a deadly new phase of the pandemic.
The mutation was formed from the Kent variant – known scientifically as B.1.1.7 – and a Californian variant called B.1.429- scientists in the US claim they merged into what is known as a ‘recombination event’. This happens when two different versions of the virus infect the same cell and then swap genes while they are reproducing, giving rise to a new variant.
Researchers have warned in the past that these events are possible but said they were ‘unlikely’ because they require very specific conditions and the coincidence of mostly uncontrollable events and that they are more likely to happen during huge outbreaks. This has now apparently happened and the race is on to test present vaccines against the new strain.
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