There are several different types of the virus that causes COVID-19. Each variant has many different mutations, but the symptoms caused by the virus — such as fever, cough, and nausea — are about the same. However, their arrangement may differ, which can have a significant impact on the spread of infection.
This was stated by researchers at the University of Southern California After analyzing what happened when the original “Wuhan variant” acquired a new mutation. Early in the epidemic, in March 2020, the D614G gene change occurred. This means that the amino acid D-aspartic acid (D) has been replaced by the amino acid glycine (G) at position 614 in the long chain of various amino acids that make up the nail protein of the virus. That is, the protein that the virus uses to bind to our cells.
Change may seem Unimportant, but according to the researchers, this means that the order of symptoms caused by the virus has been reversed. Because in the beginning it was more common for the fever to come first, then the cough, which is something that has changed to being a cough that comes first instead. This appears to have had a significant impact on the spread of infection, according to the researchers, because it benefits people who suddenly start coughing and then stay home with a fever, and vice versa.
Our findings suggest that the order of symptoms may change in relation to the mutation of the virus. That way, D614G could be more contagious, as infected people are more likely to cough in public before going to bed with a fever, says one of the researchers behind the study, Peter Kuhn, in a comment.
In the current study that Presented in the journal PLOS Computational Biology, researchers started from a mathematical model to try to figure out what governs the order of symptoms. Whether geographic location is important, or whether it varies between different patient groups. To their surprise, it was not or. Instead, the presence of the D614G was most important. In both the United States and Japan, the order between fever and cough changed, when D614G took hold in each country, which happened at slightly different times in 2020.
The D614G mutation was found, along with a number of other mutations, in the delta variant (which is the virus variant that currently dominates the spread of infection in Sweden), as well as in the omicron variant, (which many may take to spreading soon).
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