Where was the double mutant found?
The Stanford Clinical Virology Lab discovered there’s at least one case of the double mutant COVID-19 variant — originally discovered in India — found in California. Experts presume there at least seven case of the variant within the state, according to Fox News.
- Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, an infectious disease expert, said the double mutant variant is “less forgiving” than others, according to Fox News.
What is the ‘double mutant’ of COVID-19?
At the end of March, India’s Health Ministry said in a report that it had discovered a new double mutant of COVID-19 that had started to spread. The double mutant is a combination of “two mutations coming together in the same virus,” virologist Shahid Jameel told BBC News.
- India’s government said that it had found an increase in the number of testing samples that had the E484Q and L452R mutations together, creating the double mutant, BBC News reports.
Why is the double mutant in California?
As I wrote for the Deseret News, the original L452R mutation was discovered in California, so it’s not surprising that the double mutant would pop up there. The other factor of the mutation — the E484Q mutation — has been found in 11 countries, which suggests it was already on the move.
Why worry over the double mutant variant?
Jameel, the virologist, told BBC News that a double mutant could be strong enough to evade vaccines, which would be a problem for millions across the world.
- “A double mutation in the key areas of the virus’s spike protein may increase these risks and allow the virus to escape the immune system and make it more infectious,” he added.