Japan recently said that it first detected a case of Eta strain infection in the country.
1. What is Eta Variant?
The Eta variant is also known as B.1.525. This is a variant of the SARs-COV-2 virus, it carries the E484K mutation, similar to those found in Zeta, Gamma and Beta, but this variant does not carry the N501Y mutation like Alpha, Beta and Gamma.
The study showed that the 69 and 70 positions of this virus also carry the amino acids histidine and valine, as seen in Alpha (B.1.141), N439K (B.1.258) and Y453F.
The Eta strain first appeared in December 2020 in the UK. After that, this strain has spread to more than 70 countries, mainly in Europe and North America. The Eta strain has been classified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as “variants of concern”.
2. How dangerous is the Eta variant?
The researchers said that they evaluated Eta as one of the strains that can affect the effectiveness of the vaccine as well as the risk of infection.
Regarding this mutation, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare of Japan yesterday 9/9 said that the country has recently recorded 1 case of Eta strain infection. Previously, 2020 Eta was detected in some people entering Japan. But this is the first time in Japan that the Eta strain has appeared and until now, the country’s authorities have not found the source of the infection.
The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare also added that, through the analysis of genetic samples from December 2020 to early September 2021, for those entering the country, Japanese officials have discovered 18 cases of Eta mutation.
In addition to Lambda, Mu, Kappa, Eta are also strains classified by the country’s authorities as “remarkable variants”. Thus, compared to the Delta or Alpha variant, the Eta variant is classified into a lower level group.
In addition to cases of Eta variant infection, as of September 3, Japan has recorded 19 cases of Kappa strain, of which Mie Prefecture had a number of people infected in the community in June. In August last, Japan also recorded the first cases of Lamba variant.
Scientists have now determined that Eta is a new threat to the global community. But this new strain has not yet received much attention due to its seriousness and low transmissibility as some other variants.
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