Brazilian variant spooks medicos

Natural selection is a beast. The moment we get individual or herd immunity and natural selection goes to work on finding a way around it. The FT is reporting on a new COVID variant from Brazil that is spooking medicos:

  • First detected in November it has now spread to 35 countries.
  • 25-61% of previously infected cases are vulnerable to re-infection.
  • It is twice as infectious as earlier strains and 10-80% more fatal.
  • It is unknown if current generation vaccines are effective.

The Brazilian variant has a E484K mutation similar to the South African variant that changes the “spike protein” that enables the immune system to identify and fight the virus.

It is a clear reminder that there will come a time in the not-too-distant-future when the spawn of Wuhan Flu will return to ruin our lives again.

David Llewellyn-Smith
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