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Source: Thailand Medical News  Feb 04, 2020  2 years ago
Is It True That The Coronavirus Only Kills The Elderly And Can It Mutate?
Is It True That The Coronavirus Only Kills The Elderly And Can It Mutate?
Source: Thailand Medical News  Feb 04, 2020  2 years ago
Thailand Coronavirus news team from Medical Spheres was interested to know and dispel any fake news about the possibility of the coronavirus mutating and claims that it only affects the elderly, hence they explored the topic with various experts in the field and got a variety of conflicting answers.


 
The CDC, WHO and numerous other health experts and officials are stating that the virus only has a mortality of  2 percent and that it is milder than the influenza or flu virus and that only the elderly and those with chronic or immune compromised conditions are at risk. (we have numerous digital verbatim recordings of this as proof.) There were also medical experts who prematurely made public statements that the new coronavirus is not mutating and cannot mutate.
 
However many other researchers we have spoken to are worried that as the China coronavirus spreads, the pathogen could mutate so it can spread more efficiently, or become more likely to cause disease in young people. Currently, the virus has caused severe illness, and death, mainly in older people, particularly those with pre-existing conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.
 
However new cases of young adults dying from the coronavirus are emerging. A 36-year-old Wuhan man with no known pre-existing health conditions was the youngest victim reported so far. While in Philippines a 44 year old Chinese male, also with no pre-existing disease also died. In Hubei of late, among the deaths, adults between the ages of 37 to 45 with no underlying chronic symptoms are also starting to appear.
 
So perhaps officials from the WHO, CDC and elsewhere can also answer and explain these anomalies or were they fake news being spread and if so by which parties?
 
Dr Kristian Andersen, an infectious-disease researcher at Scripps Research in La Jolla, California, is not concerned about the virus becoming more virulent. He says that viruses constantly mutate as part of their life cycle, but those mutations don’t typically make the virus more virulent or cause more serious disease.
 
He added, “I can’t think of any examples of this having happened with an outbreak pathogen.”

Typically, in situations where a virus jumps from one animal host to another species, which is probably how the new coronavirus began to infect humans,  there might be a selection pressure to improve survival in the new host, but that rarely, if ever, has any effect on human disease or the virus’s transmissibility, says Dr Andersen. Most mutations are detrimental to the virus or have no effect, he says.
 
A 2018 study of SARS in primate cells found that a mutation the SARS coronavirus sustained during the 2003 outbreak probably reduced its virulence.
 
Researchers have shared dozens of genetic sequences from strains of the new coronavirus, and a steady supply of those sequences will reveal genetic changes as the outbreak progresses.
 
Dr Ian Mackay, a virologist at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia said, “Viruses don’t change behaviour unless they change sequence, and we need to see constant or consistent virus change.”
 
However, Dr Fang Li of the University of Minnesota felt differently after having studied the SARS virus and the new coronavirus strain, ie 2019-nCOV thru genome and sequencing studies. She warned, "Alarmingly, our data predict that a single mutation (at a specific spot in the genome) could significantly enhance the Wuhan coronavirus's ability to bind with human angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 (ACE2) receptors, making it more potent.”

She also said, “For this reason, Wuhan coronavirus evolution in patients should be closely monitored for the emergence of novel mutations at the 501 position in its genome, and to a lesser extent, the 494 position, in order to predict the possibility of a more serious outbreak than has been seen so far.”

According to Dr Li, these type of gene “evolution” or mutation is easy to occur considering the nature of the virus structure and characteristics.
 
Dr Gao Fu, the director-general of China's Center for Disease Control and Prevention, commented during a press conference on January 21st t that the new coronavirus was adapting and mutating, making it harder to manage and control.
 
Numerous virology expects are saying that based on the behaviour of the coronavirus, in that it is now able to infect others from host that do not exhibit symptoms and also  the fact that it has a  long incubation period compared to any other virus ie up to 14 days according to Chinese researchers and experts and that it can live for a long time out of a host body, are all signs that since the  first infections, the virus is  becoming more virulent and is evolving.
 
We are not even sure that of those who were ‘cured”, were there latent reservoirs of the virus in their bodies and also if there was, could these cause other possible long term conditions in the body or even affect  cellular pathways or genes. Could these become active again to spread to other individuals?
 
At the moment there is a lot of unsolved questions and an enigma surrounding the coronavirus as even the source is still not know.
 
For more updates about the China coronavirus epidemic or the Thailand Coronavirus scenario, keep on checking at: https://www.thailandmedical.news/articles/coronavirus
 
References:
 
-Muth, D., Corman, V.M., Roth, H. et al. Attenuation of replication by a 29 nucleotide deletion in SARS-coronavirus acquired during the early stages of human-to-human transmission. Sci Rep 8, 15177 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-33487-8
 
- Yushun Wan et al, Receptor recognition by novel coronavirus from Wuhan: An analysis based on decade-long structural studies of SARS, Journal of Virology (2020). DOI: 10.1128/JVI.00127-20
 
-https://www.businessinsider.com/china-wuhan-virus-authorities-could-mutate-spread-further-2020-1

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