New coronavirus (mutant strain) (January 2021)

New coronavirus (mutant strain) (January 2021)

Prevention of infection with new coronavirus mutant strains is explained in this article.

*This information is current as of the end of January 2021.

If you're infected with a mutant strain, you might be more severely ill than you've ever been."

I don't want to get infected, but I don't know what to do."

In December 2020, a new coronavirus mutant strain was confirmed in Japan.
I am writing this article for those who are spending anxious days with fear of the unknown.

At the end of January 2021, the measures we can take to prevent infection with the new coronavirus variant will be the same as before.

However, without the right knowledge, you may be fooled by scams and shady products that take advantage of your fear of the new coronavirus.

If you read this article and learn the correct
・How to prevent infection with a new coronavirus mutant strain
・What is a mutant strain?
Can be easily understood without prior medical knowledge.

New treatment and testing options for novel coronaviruses will help you make your choice.

Same prophylaxis as before, even with mutant strains

The reason why the same preventive measures as before are still effective is that mutant strains of the new coronavirus have only been confirmed to have increased infectivity.

Increased infectivity refers to an increased susceptibility to infection with the new coronavirus and symptoms.

No increase in fatality or severity has been observed.
In other words, the current situation requires more thorough prevention methods of infection than have been used to date.

Specific methods of preventing infection with new coronavirus variants include

  • Water (or basin, etc.) for washing one's hands
  • Gargling
  • Wearing a mask
  • Rubbing alcohol on oneself
  • Stay away from crowds.

and nothing new, it is the infection prevention method we have been doing until now.

The rationale for why infection prevention methods should remain the same for mutant strains is explained in the following sections.

Even with mutant strains, novel coronaviruses are sensitive to alcohol and soap

Even if the new coronavirus mutates, alcohol and soap are effective in preventing infection because of the envelope.

The reason for this is that the things that break the envelope are alcohol and soap.

The envelope is a lipid membrane that protects the virus.
Once the envelope is gone, the new coronavirus will die.

For example, without air cylinders and wetsuits, humans would die of respiratory distress and hypothermia underwater.
Think of these air cylinders and wetsuits as the envelope for the novel coronavirus.

This envelope is also present in the currently identified novel coronavirus mutant strains.

Every two weeks, the new coronavirus mutates.

The mutation of the new coronavirus is

  • To survive
  • Error

are two that have been identified and are said to occur once every two weeks.

Survival mutations are called escape mutations, which are changes to a state that cannot be detected by the human immune system.

In order for our body to kill a virus, the immune system must find and catch it.

Escape mutation is similar to mimicry, in which insects change color to escape their natural enemies.

Mutations due to errors are due to copy errors.

The virus copies itself and multiplies in humans.

However, they can make mistakes in copying, and the number of missed copies keeps growing.

For example, if we try to duplicate many documents by hand, don't you think there are very few cases where we can duplicate them without making a single mistake?

The propagation of the new coronavirus is not as precise as a machine, so it makes many of our human errors.

Mutation is a change in the genetic information of the virus

Mutations change the genetic information of the virus, which in turn changes the capabilities of the virus.

The genetic information of the new coronavirus is composed of four types of material,

  • A (adenine)
  • U(Uracil)
  • G (guanine)
  • C (cytosine)

are lined up in a large number of random order.

The number of random sequences varies with the type of virus: about 10,000 for influenza viruses and about 30,000 for new coronaviruses.

Suppose there is a sequence of AAUUGs among the 30,000, and the sequence of AAUUGs indicates "weak viability of the virus".

*AAUUG is not genetic information that indicates "weak viral viability". It is set up for the sake of clarity and explanation.

A mutation occurred here, AAUUG to AAUGG. (The fourth letter went from U to G)

If AAUGG indicates "strong viability," then the mutation would make the virus more viable, right?

Even the words we use in our daily lives can be changed to have completely different meanings by changing just one letter.
For example,

  • Yakan→Tangerine
  • Rabbit -> Eel
  • Sakura → pillow

Something similar to this occurs on the genes of the virus and is called mutation.

The mutation identified was a change in spike protein [severe disease is under investigation].

The mutation changed the genetic information of the spike protein of the new coronavirus, making it more infectious to us than before.
This is because the performance of the spike protein has increased.

Infection is a condition in which a virus becomes established in a human, undergoes multiplication, and becomes a parasite.
In other words, simply touching the body or entering through the mouth is not the same as infection.
In order for a virus to become established or parasitic, it must enter our cells.

Spike proteins are part of the novel coronavirus.

To use an analogy, a bridge between us and the novel coronavirus.
The novel coronavirus uses spike proteins to enter cells.

The currently confirmed mutation of the new coronavirus is an increase in the performance of the spike protein.
No severe symptoms or increased fatality rates have been observed after infection and are under investigation.

British, Brazilian, and African types differ in mutations within the spike protein

Currently, the new coronavirus mutant strains confirmed in Japan are

  • British style
  • Brazilian type
  • South African type

The National Institute of Infectious Diseases has published three types of

Common to all three types are mutations related to spike proteins.

What is different is the location of mutation in the spike protein.

For example, think of spiked protein as curry.

You have curries in England, South Africa, and Brazil that represent their national characteristics.
The spices used in each country are different, but the curry is no different.

Spike protein is similar to curries from different countries, and the components that make up spike protein vary from country to country.

However, there is no change in the role of the spike protein, so it does not necessarily lead to increased mortality or severity of disease.

Proper knowledge and preparation to prevent the spread of infection

If you know the right stuff.

  • You yourself are infected with a new type of coronavirus.
  • You spread the infection.

These risks could be reduced.

However, infection prevention methods are not perfect, and even if you are careful, you can still become infected.
If you feel something wrong with your health, having a test kit on hand can greatly contribute to treatment and prevention of the spread of infection.

This is because the earlier you test positive, the sooner you can begin treatment.
In addition, you will spend less time suffering from the symptoms of the new coronavirus.

For example, Hiro Japan's real-time PCR tests are

  • Currently confirmed mutant strains can also be detected.
  • Fewer false negatives than general PCR
  • The genetic sequence of the virus can be determined, which can be utilized for more efficient treatment.

The PCR test is based on the guidelines of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, such as

Hiro Japan New Coronavirus PCR Test Kit

To protect yourself and your loved ones, why not be prepared with the right knowledge and test kit?