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5:03 PM  November 24, 2021

TSU scientist: Asia become a "mutation hotbed" for new virus strains

© предоставлено пресс-службой Томского госуниверситетаTSU scientist: Asia become a mutation hotbed for new virus strains

TOMSK, Nov 24 – RIA Tomsk. Overpopulation in Asia turned this territory into a "vegetable garden for mutations", where optimal conditions are created for the emergence of new strains of various viruses, said the website of Tomsk State University, citing Olga Karnachuk, Head of the Department of Plant Physiology, Biotechnology and Bioinformatics of TSU Biological Institute.

"The danger of viral infections in the world has now increased significantly. The reason is that the Earth's population has greatly increased, especially in Asia. This is where the "reservoir" – the natural foci of many viruses that spread around the world - is located. Overpopulation in Asia provides the pathogens with a lot of "material" to multiply", – the scientist said.

Karnachuk believes that viruses move rapidly from one individual to another and change in the process: "It turns out to be such a "vegetable garden for mutations" – optimal conditions for the emergence of new strains. It has been abundantly clear recently that the viral threat is growing and it is simply a matter of time before a dangerous pathogen arrives from Asia".

According to the TSU scientist, an individual mask covering the mouth and nose reduces the risks of contracting various infections. It acts as a barrier to inhaled and exhaled air flows, which may contain viral particles. Therefore, when a mask is used, even if any amount of a pathogen from a sick person gets to a healthy person, its concentration (titer) is much lower than without it.

"It's not just about coronavirus. For example, our region has an unfavourable situation with tuberculosis. Along with the high incidence of the disease, drug-resistant forms are increasingly common. Wearing a mask reduces the risks for this and other infections. But the remedy is only effective if worn correctly – the nose and mouth must be covered", – says Karnachuk.

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