New virus variant detected in India; experts urge caution

By ANIRUDDHA GHOSAL AP Science Writer

NEW DELHI (AP) — Health officials say a new and potentially troublesome variant of the coronavirus has been detected in India, as have variants first detected in the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil.

Health Ministry officials and experts, however, caution against linking the variants with an ongoing surge in new infections in India.

The virus has been mutating throughout the pandemic.

Most mutations are trivial, but scientists have been investigating which ones might make the virus spread more easily or make people sicker.

The three variants first detected in South Africa, Britain and Brazil are considered the most worrisome and have been designated "variants of concern."

The new variant found in India has two mutations in the spiky protein that the virus uses to fasten itself to cells.

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