Scientists expected COVID-19 mutations, but how worried should we be?

Daybreak

A virus mutation is like someone copying a script over and over, and occasionally making an error -- in this case, that error would be a mutation

(WYTV) – A new strain of the coronavirus reached Ohio a couple of weeks ago. The virus has mutated — or changed — but what exactly does that mean and should we be concerned?

Viruses mutate randomly all the time and scientists have been expecting the coronavirus’ genetic makeup to change.

It’s like someone copying a script over and over, and occasionally making an error. In this case, that error would be a mutation.

“This variant is more fit, or it works better,” said Dr. Daniel Rhoads, with the Cleveland Clinic. “Naturally, there’s going to be more of it, and it’s going to be transmissible more easily, and grow more readily and then kind of take over, so to speak, the population of viruses.”

Most mutations are insignificant. In the case of COVID-19, the virus behaves in our bodies the same as we’ve come to expect.

The good news is our testing can still find the mutations and our vaccines are just as effective against them.

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