Limburg media reported on Thursday about a new type of coronavirus that was to be appearing in the county: B.1.1.222, also known as Mexican mutation. The variant is likely to spread faster, but not much is known about it yet.
Says Christian Hoppe, head of the department of infectious disease control at GGD Zuid-Limburg and professor of the University of Infectious Diseases at Maastricht University.
Two groups of the variant were identified in Southern Limburg: one in a disabled facility and the other in a care farm. Nearly half of the people in the disabled facility tested positive for the variant. Hubei describes how the virus has spread among residents and employees there as “amazing”.
But while this prevalence is staggering, not much can be said about whether the variable is more contagious and to what extent, and what effect the variable will have on the efficacy of the Corona vaccine. Not much is known about B.1.1.222. Hoebe explains that the variable may have become dominant in Mexico: 5% of Mexicans proved positive for the variable in October, and that percentage increased to 87% in February.
It is not yet known if the alternative has also appeared in more places in the Netherlands. A spokesperson for NU.nl. Germ control involves looking at the different variants that are prevalent in the country. To this end, samples from positive corona tests are randomly analyzed in the laboratory.
The Mexican variety appears to spread less quickly than the British
Based on the findings in southern Limburg, the variant appears to be spreading less quickly than the British or South African variant, Hoebe says. “In the sample taken in our region last week, it was found that 7 percent of people had tested positive for the Mexican mutation. In the British variant, it was 58 percent during the same time frame.”
The mutation isn’t an immediate cause for concern: viruses are constantly changing. There is no cause for concern unless the alternative appears to be more contagious or if the alternative is less compatible with the effect of the vaccines developed.
For now, this was not the case with the B.1.1.222 variant. “It is not the alternative that the World Health Organization has described as being of concern, and we will see in the future whether this alternative emerges more often.”