New Covid-19 Strain D614G Detected In Malaysia Is 10 Times More Infectious

The journey to recovery in a Covid-19 world isn’t easy. While Singapore is still trying to contain the outbreak of the virus within worker dormitories, there’s slightly unpleasant news from our northern neighbour.

It looks like Covid-19 has levelled up in Malaysia, with a new strain of the virus – i.e. D614G-type – recently detected, according to Malaysia English daily The Star.

This mutated strain of the virus is said to be 10 times more infectious. Health authorities are urging the community to be extra cautious.

Highly infectious new Covid-19 strain called D614G

The Star reports that the Malaysian Institute for Medical Research had detected the D614G-type mutation from 4 cases.

All patients were isolated and sent for culture tests after testing positive.

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The country’s health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the mutation is 10 times more infectious and easier to spread, especially if it involves people who are ‘super spreaders’.

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In Dr Noor Hisham’s Facebook post on Sunday (16 Aug), he said the detection of this new strain could result in ongoing vaccine studies to be ineffective or incomplete against this mutation.

He stressed that health authorities will continue to prioritise existing preventive measures of public health.

Always safe distance & practise good hygiene

Citizens are urged to abide by these measures such as safe distancing and practising good personal hygiene, such as:

  • Always wash hands with soap and water
  • Wear face masks in public places, crowded places, enclosed spaces, and when having conversations in close proximity with another.

So far, Dr Noor Hishan said the Covid-19 situation is still under control, as Malaysia’s Health Ministry remains hard at work to contain the spread.

We will need everyone’s cooperation on this so that we can break the chain of Covid-19 infection from all types of mutations.

What we know about the D614G mutation

We’ve broken down some things you need to know in understanding the D614G mutation, according to this Medium article.

  • This mutation describes the change from from D (aspartic acid) to G (glycine) at position 614 of the amino acid — hence, D-614-G
  • There’s a global shift of the Covid-19 mutation from D614 to G614
  • G614 is more infectious in laboratory settings
  • No evidence to suggest that G614 is any deadlier than D614
  • Treatment options shouldn’t differ from one another
  • D614 and G614 may have similar reactions to vaccines.

No end of Covid-19 in sight

It’s been around 8 months since the world was plunged into a seemingly unending battle against Covid-19. Scientists are still trying to figure out the virus’ mutations.

As Medium suggests that the virus should have similar reactions to vaccines despite the mutation, time will only tell whether current vaccine studies will be effective in the long run.

In the meantime, we should also work on levelling up our hygiene and above all, sense of social responsibility. Wear a mask, safe distance, and follow the rules — it’s not that hard.

This is also why you should safe distance:

Safe Distancing Is Matter Of Life & Death For Businesses, Says S’pore Eatery Owner

Featured image adapted from the New York Times.