The Covid-19 virus has mutated and continued to evolve over the course of time.
“Now we have a whole bunch of variants alpha, beta, gamma, lambda is now a big one,” University of California San Diego Infectious Disease Doctor Davey Smith said.
Experts have identified each known variant and its origins explaining that each mutation offers the virus another opportunity to become more infectious thus leading to more spreading.
“Basically, what that means is that the virus has evolved to infect us better and it’s also able to evade our immune responses,” Dr. Smith said.
A worrisome mutation that Infectious Disease experts are conducting research to understand is the Lambda variant which experts believe is concerning.
So far, the “variant of interest” has been detected in 29 countries, and it may spread more quickly than milder versions of the coronavirus.
“It has a lot of worrisome mutations that are attached to it it can both infect a human better and evade immune responses,” Dr. Smith said.
Vaccines have proven to be effective against severe illness and death but with each variant that could change.
“The next big thing I’m worried about is that when we get a vaccine that whole purpose is to train our immune system to generate an immune response so that it can knock out the virus if we were to get it but if the virus is learning how to get around the immune system then perhaps these new variants will learn how to get around the immune responses too,” Dr. Smith said.
According to Dr. Smith many Infectious Disease Experts think that the goal has shifted from eradicating the virus to limiting the spread.
“We have all pretty much agreed that this is here to stay, with the large amount of vaccine hesitancy and the push back against this vaccine we have missed out window to get to herd immunity,” Dr. Smith said.