Chronic Covid patients may trigger more deadly variants: study

Chronic Covid patients may trigger more lethal variants, rather than evolving from regular transmission among millions of humans, coronavirus variants of concern from chronic and long-lasting Covid patients may be more lethal and need urgent attention, scientists have warned.

Chronic Covid patients can trigger more deadly variants, previous studies have shown that some immunocompromised people, such as those taking medication for other chronic conditions, have carried active Covid infections for a year or even more. Identifying these people, the researchers point out, is critical not only to help them get treated for Covid, but also to perform genomic surveillance of the SARS-CoV-2 viruses they carry. “Rather than evolving from chains of transmission of acute Covid infections in hundreds of millions of people, our results show that the worrying variants come from rare cases where someone may have an active infection for months” , said Daniel Weissman, professor of biology and physics at Emory University in the United States. Viruses like SARS-CoV-2 continually evolve due to occasional mutations in the genetic code that can occur as they replicate, Medical Xpress reported. “When a virus copies itself, it doesn’t always make perfect copies,” Weissman said in a study published in Frontiers in Virology.

Chronic Covid patients can trigger more deadly variants, The World Health Organization (WHO) defines a concerning variant of SARS-CoV-2 as one that is more likely to cause infections, even in those who are vaccinated or in those who have been previously infected. “A key take-home message is that it is important to find these chronically infected people and help them recover,” said Mahan Ghafari, first author of the paper and postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oxford. . “In many cases they may be asymptomatic and not even realize they are infected with Covid despite actively clearing the virus,” he added. The World Health Organization has dubbed three variants of concern alpha, beta, and gamma. The researchers built a mechanistic and theoretical model to study the problem. The resulting model rules out the theory that the variants of concern emerged from sustained transmission of acute infections and fully supports the theory that each variant evolved in a single individual with chronic infection. Delta appeared in India at the end of 2020, quickly sweeping this country and spreading around the world. Delta collapsed after the appearance of omicron, which is not a descendant of the delta variant, in South Africa in late 2021. Omicron quickly became the dominant global variant of concern. “Ideally, we would like to be able to eventually quantify when new variants might emerge in the future,” Weissman said. “This has huge implications from a public health perspective.” “Who knows which variant might boil up next in a chronically infected individual?”

Source: This news is originally published by urdupoint

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