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Current Affairs

Kappa variant

Date: 13 July 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

A recent genome sampling of different strains of SARs CoV-2 in Uttar Pradesh has showed presence of the new Kappa variant.

 

Background

The mutations of SARA CoV-2 have been named on Greek alphabets. Some of the prevalent strains include alpha, beta, gamma, delta, lambda etc.

 

Details

  • The more prevalent Delta strain is majorly seen in Indian population. The Kappa strain is relatively new as WHO has recently given it the name.

  • The Kappa and Delta variant emerged from the same mutant variant of the Wuhan Virus known as B.1.617. It was also known as double mutant.

  • Earlier, the new strains were named on the country of origin. The UK variant, Brazil variant, India variant, South Africa variant were all mutated versions.

  • The WHO decided to drop country-specific names after opposition from these countries. They were given identity-neutral names based on Greek letters.

  • The B.1.617 further mutated into three more variants. They were named as B.1.617.1, B.1.617.2, and B.1.617.3.

  • B.1.617.1 is named the Kappa, the B.1.617.2 as Delta but the B.1.617.3 was not given any name as it was less prevalent.

  • The initial lineage of Kappa variant belongs to Vidharba region that first showed the origin of B.1.617 strain.

 

Concerns

  • Authorities have said that the Kappa variant does not pose any threat as it was already present in population. There would not be increased threats.

  • It is also believed that the kappa variant is less dangerous than Delta variant and hence seeing lower prevalence among population.

  • The Kappa variant is termed as “variant of interest” whereas the Delta is known as “variant of concern”. Currently it is present in small pockets of the country.