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COVID-19 Variants

Mutations are natural and expected in any virus. Several variants of SARS-COV2 have been detected in various parts of the world. Viruses such as Coronavirus constantly evolve and some mutations may provide a selective advantage such as increased transmissibility.

When a virus replicates or makes copies of itself, it sometimes changes a little bit. These changes are called “mutations.”

A virus with one or several new mutations is referred to as a “variant” of the original virus. 

The more viruses circulate, the more they may change. These changes can occasionally result in a virus variant that is better adapted to its environment compared to the original virus. This process of changing and selection of successful variants is called “virus evolution.” Some mutations can lead to changes in a virus’s characteristics, such as altered transmission (for example, it may spread more easily) or severity (for example, it may cause a more severe disease).

WHO (World Health Organization) released a nomenclature to denote variants of SARS-COV2 based on their mutations as Variants of Concern and Variants of Interest which are named by Greek Letters. 

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