The University Center for Health Sciences of the University of Guadalajara reported a possible new mutation of COVID-19: the E484K or Erik strain. So far the strain has been identified in four patients from Jalisco.
Of the four patients, two are 30 years old, one is 60 years old, and there is no information on the fourth patient. One of the patients claimed to have traveled to Puerto Vallarta and to have had contact with a foreign person.
The E484K strain had already been previously identified in South Africa and Brazil; however, researchers from the Laboratory for the Diagnosis of Emerging and Reemerging Diseases (LaDEER) have pointed out that the Mexican strain has different characteristics.
“We detected the E484k mutation. This is an important finding since it had not been reported in Mexico; however, more in-depth studies such as sequencing are required, as well as the analysis of more positive samples to determine the prevalence of this mutation in Jalisco,” said the head of LaDEER, Nataly Vega Magaña.
The Secretary of Health reported that the strain found in the Jalisco patients is not of South African origin, and the possibility that it is a new variant of the Sars-CoV-2 virus is being investigated.
General Director of the National Center for Preventive Programs and Disease Control Ruy López pointed out at a press conference that the virus that currently circulates in Mexico already has mutations, but results of the virulence and transmissibility tests that are being carried out could categorize the Jalisco finding as a new variant of COVID-19.
Sources: Secretary of Health, Laboratory for the Diagnosis of Emerging and Reemerging Diseases, University Center of Health Sciences of the University of Guadalajara.