Scientists in the United States have detected a mutated version of the COVID-19 variant that was first discovered in Britain. According to The New York Times, American scientists have dubbed the homegrown version of the UK variant as a matter of great "concern" because of its highly transmissible quality. Scientists have said that the existing COVID-19 vaccines could be even less effective against the new mutated version.
The mutated version of the UK variant B.1.1.7 has been identified in Oregon, which scientists say did not come from another part of the world and has likely developed in the country itself. The new version of the virus has a mutation "E484K", which is seen in variants detected in Brazil, South Africa, and New York City.
Scientists in South Africa have concluded that existing vaccines are not as effective against the E484K mutation. Drug manufacturers are working to tweak their existing vaccines to make them more effective against new emerging variants of COVID-19.
So far, only one case has been identified with the mutation, but health experts fear that the person may have picked it from the community. The mutation has already been discovered in the United Kingdom, where it has been labelled as a "variant of concern" by scientists.
British scientists recently discovered a new variant of the COVID-19 virus in the United Kingdom. The new strain of the COVID-19 virus is being referred to as VUI-202102/04, where VUI stands for 'virus under investigation'. The new variant was reportedly designated VUI on February 24, about ten days after it was first found. Public Health England (PHE) on Thursday said that all individuals who have tested positive for the new variant have been isolated, including those who came in contact with them.