Delta strain, we are no stranger. Compared with the original strain, the mutant strain found in India for the first time is like hanging open, breaking several layers of human defense and completely tearing up the desire to completely clear the new crown with vaccine. However, before people had worked out the countermeasures against Delta, another new mutant strain appeared.
On September 1, the World Health Organization announced that due to the recent strong momentum of “Mu Miao” strain, Mu Miao strain was included in the list of “variants of interest”. Miao strain is the fifth strain on this list. (in addition to mu, ETA, iota, kappa and lambda) on this list, there are “variants of concern”.
Delta variant was listed as “attention required” variant in early April this year and upgraded to “high concern” variant on May 11. The who explained that the Miao strain has a series of mutations, including the potential characteristics of immune escape, which may invalidate the vaccine. Therefore, although the current data is not severe, it is still necessary to further study it in order to better understand its characteristics.
As of August 29, about 4500 cases of Miao strain had been reported worldwide, which is still lower than 0.1% of global cases. However, in some regions of South America, it even accounts for nearly 40%, and the prevalence is increasing, and has invaded many countries and regions such as the United States, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan and so on… This trend is still worthy of attention.
In January 2021, Miao strain b.1.621 was first confirmed in Colombia. After more than half a year of transmission, the infection of Miao strain has accounted for 39% of Colombia’s infection and 13% of Ecuador’s infection. Local health officials say this variant strain has become the most popular variant of COVID-19.Moreover, Miao virus has infected and invaded more than 40 countries and regions, and began to spread.
Indeed, with Delta’s “pearl jade in front”, many experts feel that Miao strain is not a worry, and it is unlikely to surpass Delta. (a comparison: delta virus began to spread in Britain in April. By the end of June, 99% of the new diagnoses in Britain were caused by delta virus.)
However, in the United States, Miao virus has become a newcomer that can not be ignored. The United States has reported 2065 new cases of Miao virus infection, even exceeding the origin of Colombia, accounting for 2% of all new infections. This data is not eye-catching, but worrying: if the Miao strain can kill a place in Delta’s overwhelming rule, it is enough to prove that its infectivity should not be underestimated. Moreover, the Miao strain is approaching us step by step.
After who announced that Miao virus was on the waiting list, Japan announced that they had detected Miao virus infection in June. On June 26, a passenger who arrived at Narita airport was tested positive for Xinguan. She had stayed in the UAE without any symptoms.
South Korea also announced novel coronavirus pneumonia cases in September 3rd, the first time in 3 cases of infection with the virus. According to reports, the three cases were from Mexico, the United States and Colombia.
Taiwan Province of China announced on September 2 that a case of Miao virus infection was found in Taiwan. Novel coronavirus pneumonia was identified in China’s Hongkong Special Administrative Region on September 3rd. Three of them were diagnosed with new crown pneumonia, including two cases of which arrived in Columbia in early June and one from the United States in late July.
Although these cases found by Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan are imported from abroad, not spread within China. However, it is worth noting that among these confirmed patients, there are many patients who have been fully vaccinated. For example, Hong Kong’s confirmed immigrants from the United States have been fully vaccinated with two doses of biontech fubitai’s new crown vaccine.
This means that Miao strain is likely to have high vaccine tolerance
According to the report of the World Health Organization, the Miao strain contains mutations named e484k and n501y. E484k can help the variant escape the antibody, so that the virus can avoid the resistance of the immune system; N501y is a binding receptor that changes the spike of the virus, which can help the variant spread more easily. Of course, virology experts analyzed: “the site mutation of the virus gene sequence will indeed affect the function, but because there are other site mutations, the specific performance remains to be observed.”
However, according to the preliminary research results of the research group, the resistance of Miao strain to the vaccine is similar to that of beta strain, and the neutralization ability in the serum of convalescent patients and vaccinators decreases. In addition, Phe of the Ministry of public health of England also pointed out: “preliminary laboratory evidence shows that the vaccine is less effective in preventing Miao virus strains.” most of the people infected with Miao virus found in Britain are young people in their 20s, and some of them have been vaccinated with one or two doses of vaccine.
This has also become a point of concern: Although most studies on the Miao strain so far have shown that there is no evidence that the Miao strain will outperform the delta variant in the competition. But what if there is a “cross infection” where both Miao and delta strains are rampant? In July this year, a Belgian woman died after being infected with two new crown variant strains of alpha and beta. This is a dangerous sign: every time COVID-19 infects the human body, it is the result that the virus keeps replicating itself. Every time it replicates, it will copy its own genome. There may be slight mistakes in the process of replication, so the new genome may be slightly different from the previous one.
However, if different strains infect the same patient, there may be recombinant exchange of two different strains during replication. At that time, if there is a new strain that gathers the strengths of all families, it will probably be another round of bloody storm… It should be said that so far, Miao strain does not look as terrible as Delta, so there is no need to panic.
But people still need attention. Because the virus changes all the time. Ordinary people should pay attention to protection when traveling, the state should speed up the popularization of vaccines, and researchers should continue virus sequencing, so as to identify mutations and variants in time and take preventive measures. But in the final analysis, there is only one way to deal with the continuous virus mutation: to curb the spread of the epidemic. Reduce the number of cases of COVID-19 infection in the world, because each new infection is the chance for virus to mutate and change.