What are the major variants of COVID-19?
As of July 2021, there are four dominant variants of SARS-CoV-2 spreading among global populations: the Alpha Variant (formerly called the UK Variant and officially referred to as B.1.1.7), first found in London and Kent, the Beta Variant (formerly called the South Africa Variant and officially referred to as B.1.351), the Gamma Variant (formerly called the Brazil Variant and officially referred to as P.1), and the Delta Variant (formerly called the India Variant and officially referred to as B.1.617.2).
What causes COVID-19?
COVID-19 is caused by infection with the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus strain.
When did nextstrain start tracking SARS-Cov-2?
In 2017, Hadfield et al. announced Nextstrain, intended “for real-time tracking of pathogen evolution”. Nextstrain has later been used for tracking SARS-CoV-2, identifying 13 major clades (19A–B, 20A–20J and 21A) as of June 2021
Where did the Zeta variant of SARS originate?
Zeta variant or lineage P.2, a sub-lineage of B.1.1.28 like P.1 (the Gamma variant), was first detected in circulation in the state of Rio de Janeiro; it harbours the E484K mutation, but not the N501Y and K417T mutations. It evolved independently in Rio de Janeiro without being directly related to the Gamma variant from Manaus.
Where are SARS-Cov-2 variants circulating in the world?
Genetic variants of SARS-CoV-2 have been emerging and circulating around the world throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Viral mutations and variants in the United States are routinely monitored through sequence-based surveillance, laboratory studies, and epidemiological investigations.
When does a virus become an emerging variant?
Viruses generally acquire mutations over time, giving rise to new variants. When a new variant appears to be growing in a population, it can be labelled as an “emerging variant”. Some of the potential consequences of emerging variants are the following: