The Institute of Medical Research found the D614G mutation in samples from all new COVID-19 clusters in Malaysia!
Here is a quick primer on their latest findings, and what they mean for us!
D614G Mutation : What Is It?
D614G is a mutation that produces an amino acid change in the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
This mutation appears to make SARS-CoV-2 a lot more infectious than the original virus.
However, it does not appear to cause a more severe COVID-19 disease.
- Korber et. a. (2020) found that patients infected with this variant had higher levels of virus RNA, but there was no difference in hospitalisation outcomes.
- Wagner et al. (2020) confirmed it in a study of 175 COVID-19 patients in Seattle, WA.
- Lorenzo-Redondo et. al (2020) also confirmed it in their study of 88 patients in Chicago, IL.
IMR : D614G Mutation Found In All New COVID-19 Clusters!
The Institute of Medical Research analysed 32 virus samples from five major COVID-19 clusters in Malaysia :
- LD Benteng Cluster : 23 virus samples
- Sivagangga PUI Cluster : 4 virus samples
- Tawar Cluster : 3 virus samples
- Sungai Cluster : 1 virus sample
- Bukit Tiram Cluster : 1 virus sample
Their genetic analysis of those COVID-19 virus samples revealed that :
- The D614G mutation was found in all 32 virus samples
- Virus from more recent clusters in Kedah are related to the older Sivagangga and Tawar clusters, and probably have a similar origin.
- The 23 virus samples from the LD Benteng Cluster were found not to be related to the virus samples in Kedah, even though they shared the same D614G mutation.
D614G Mutation : What Are The Implications?
The D614G mutation may not cause a more severe COVID-19 disease, but it appears to be significantly more contagious.
In fact, SARS-CoV-2 viruses with this D614G mutation are now dominant in many parts of the world.
Therefore, the Malaysia Ministry of Health is strongly advising the public to be vigilant, and to continue practicing protective measures against COVID-19 infections.
COVID-19 : How To Keep Safe!
Here are a few simple steps to stay safe from COVID-19 :
- Avoid suspected cases or disease hotpots, like hospitals, if possible!
- Avoid public events and crowds
- Keep our hands clean with soap or hand sanitiser
- Keep our home, office, vehicles, etc. clean
- If you need to wear a surgical mask, make sure you put it on and remove it properly!
- Wash your food with water (and soap) after purchase and before preparation
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