With the world currently in lockdown due to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and patiently awaiting for a vaccine to drop so that normal life can resume, we could all do with some positive news.
Luckily for those going stir-crazy and are in desperate need of a pick-me-up, researchers working on the coronavirus COVID-19 vaccine have got an update that’ll give us some hope that we could all use right now.
Since we’re all under coronavirus lockdown, the GOAT team talk about ways to keep yourself creatively engaged on ‘It’s Been A Big Day For…’ below:
According to The Washington Post, researchers have found that the coronavirus COVID-19 isn’t mutating significantly as it moves its way across the globe, which is surprising given the number of people it’s infected so far.
Since the disease broke out in late 2019, researchers discovered that the coronavirus looks basically the same everywhere it has spread, with only four to 10 genetic differences between the original strain that originated in Wuhan and the strains wrecking havoc in the U.S. at the moment, which is very little, and there’s no evidence suggesting that one strain is deadlier than another.
This incredibly low mutation rate bodes very for that coronavirus COVID-19 vaccine we’re hoping for as it means we’ll likely only need a single vaccine rather than a new one annually like the flu vaccine.
Here’s why this is such good news. Viruses mutate over time as they spread and these changes forces scientists to continually come up with new vaccines to fight them. It’s why we need a flu shot every year.
But coronavirus COVID-19 is barely changing at all even as it makes its way through the human population, meaning that scientists will only have to make a single vaccine and it’ll be a long-lasting one. Just one jab in the arm and you’re set, hopefully.
That all being said, we still need to be cautious. As great as this news is for the development of the coronavirus COVID-19 vaccine, it is still at least 18 months or so away depending on the amount of resources being allocated to its research.
There’s also the possibility that coronavirus COVID-19 could mutate the longer it is around, with virologist Benjamin Neuman of Texas A&M University at Texarkana saying that we “might have some diversity” if the disease is “still around in a year,” so staying vigilant in containing the spread of the disease through self-isolating, lockdowns, and social distancing is important.
But let’s not dwell on the negative possibilities here and instead focus on the positives. Researchers are doing all they can to fight the coronavirus COVID-19, the disease isn’t mutating, and this means there are some good signs for that vaccine the world is patiently waiting for.
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