The last thing any of us wanted was SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 to mutate into a new strain, which correlates with a marked increase in coronavirus infections rate in the U.K and some other parts of the world.
Ever since the 14th of December, when the news of the new strain hit us from different parts of the world, there has been a lot of concern about its implication for our families, lifestyle, work, economy, and life in general.
We all thought we were heading towards the end of the virus, and now this?
Nonetheless, what exactly is this new strain, its implication, and how can we make sure we’re safe through it all?
The mutated virus
The new variant known as B.1.1.7 was first discovered in September 2020 in the southeastern U.K. Scientific and Medical theory says that new strains are due to genetic changes in the spike protein that SARS-CoV-2 uses to infect human cells.
Currently, there are about 23 genetic changes in this strain. As for our paramount concern – is it more dangerous than the first strain? Research has shown that the mutated virus may spread faster from person to person, but there’s no proof to show that it’s indeed more dangerous than the former.
Research has also shown that the virus will likely mutate to many other strains as time goes on. The mutation of viruses isn’t a new concept, as the flu virus itself changes almost every year. That’s why we are advised to take the updated flu vaccine annually.
Protecting yourself against the new strain
No matter how many variants of the virus we have, the most important thing to do will be to stay safe. Here’s what you can do to protect yourself.
Stay away from people as much as possible. Now more than ever, the virus is spreading faster, so the more contact you have with people, the higher your chances of getting infected. Total isolation may be impossible, but censoring contact with people is workable.
Limit onsite shopping, avoid public places, work or school remotely (if you have the option), and stay away from people as much as you can.
Keep your hands clean!
The regular exercise of washing your hands for at least 20 seconds under running water and soap still stands. Using alcohol-based hand sanitizers also works well as an alternative. Take a hand sanitizer with you everywhere you go.
You should get vaccinated as quickly as you can. It protects you from the virus and decreases your chances of becoming infected. Being immunized against the virus will also help reduce the spread of both the old and new variants from person to person.
Keep your surrounding clean and disinfected
Now isn’t the time to slack on your cleaning duties. Ensure that you periodically clean your home or workplace with the appropriate equipment and supplies. In case you aren’t able to ensure efficient cleaning of your space on your own, you can employ professional disinfecting companies like Safe From Spread.
Safe From Spread is an established sanitizing and disinfecting franchise whose primary focus is to eliminate germs and bacteria and minimize the chances of cross-contamination in your business.