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Some Covid variants are more contagious than others. 3 reasons why

In the last three years, we have several variants of coronavirus emerge. In fact, if you take the case of Omicron, then as per WHO, over 300 subvariant are currently circulating across the world. It is the nature of viruses to mutate and give rise to new variants. But the question is, why are some variants more contagious than others. Here’s a deeper look into it. 

Why are some variants more contagious than others? 

Size and structure of the virus: It is the structure of the virus that causes all the difference. “All coronaviruses are just about the same size. It is certainly the structure, but a virus has several adaptations that make it more likely to be passed from one person to another,” said Dr Keith Roach, Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine, Weill-Cornell; syndicated columnist To Your Good Health, as quoted by Sun Journal. 

Viruses that can reproduce faster and produce a high number of viral particles are more likely to be transmitted from one person to another. Furthermore, viruses that have more spike proteins, which attach to human cells and facilitate viral entry, are also more likely to spread.

Immune evasive properties: Another important factor is the virus’s ability to evade the immune system. Variants that can infect people who have previously been infected with the virus or who have been vaccinated are more likely to spread, he pointed out.

The mode of transmission: How the virus is transmitting also plays a role in the spread of viruses. For instance, viruses that are transmitted via aerosols, like the Delta variant, can easily spread in indoor settings with poor ventilation.

It is essential to note that the factors contributing to a virus’s contagiousness are complex and can vary between different viruses and their variants. While viruses that are less deadly tend to be more infectious, there is always a risk that a new variant may be both more contagious and more deadly.

Understanding the factors that contribute to a virus’s contagiousness is crucial in developing effective strategies to control the spread of infectious diseases. With the emergence of new variants, it is important to continue monitoring the situation closely and implementing measures to slow down the spread of the virus.

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