Kappa Variant: Covid-19:
Two cases of the Kappa variant of Covid-19 have been recorded in Uttar Pradesh (UP).
- According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Kappa is one of the two Covid-19 variants, the other being Delta, first identified in India.
- Earlier a new variant Lambda was reported from Peru.
- As India raised objection over the B.1.617.1 mutant of the novel coronavirus being termed an “Indian Variant”, the WHO had named this variant ‘Kappa’ and B.1.617.2 ‘Delta’ just as it named various variants of the coronavirus using Greek alphabets.
- The Delta and Kappa variants are actually siblings, the direct descendants of a variant that earlier used to be referred to as the double mutant, or B.1.617.
- It is still listed among ‘variants of interest’ and not ‘variants of concern’ by the WHO.
Variants of Interest:
- They are SARS-CoV-2 variants with genetic changes that are predicted or known to affect virus characteristics such as transmissibility, disease severity, immune escape, diagnostic or therapeutic escape.
- Examples: Lambda, Iota, Eta and Kappa variants.
Variant of Concern:
- A variant for which there is evidence of an increase in transmissibility, more severe disease (e.g., increased hospitalizations or deaths), significant reduction in neutralization by antibodies generated during previous infection or vaccination, reduced effectiveness of treatments or vaccines, or diagnostic detection failures.
- Examples: Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta variants.