Four cases of the double-mutant Indian variant of Covid-19 (B.1.617) have been discovered in Houston according to Dr. James Musser who runs Houston Methodist’s genome sequencing lab. While testing for Covid-19, all positive samples are analyzed by the lab. While 75% of current cases of Covid-19 in the Houston area are the B.1.1.7 U.K variant, the new Indian version is poised to gain against the U.K variant as researchers believe it is far more contagious.
“More contagious does not necessarily mean more deadly," says Amanda Nguyen, a virologist researcher for Texas. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Indian variant contains several mutations. “The only way to prevent more mutations is to get as many people vaccinated” as possible because those not vaccinated who later acquire Covid-19 can and often do create another mutant version.
“Scientifically, we’ve known for over one hundred years that those who don’t get vaccinated are the primary pathways for a virus, any virus, to mutate. It doesn’t have to be Covid, it could be any other virus also,” said Chad Wombeck, a policy advisor for British Columbia. “Those mutant versions are eventually able to become immune to our vaccines, and now the vaccinated population at large is back to square one.”