Why does the Covid virus continue to change?

Southwest Care is dedicated to providing affordable, high-quality, and judgment-free health care services to patients in Santa Fe and Albuquerque. We have made it a priority to keep up with the latest information regarding the Covid-19 virus and how it is constantly changing.

Why does the Covid virus continue to change?

The Covid-19 virus, like other viruses, continues to change and evolve through a process called mutation. Mutation occurs when a virus replicates by copying its genetic material, and during this process, errors can occur that lead to changes of the genetic material (RNA or DNA) in the virus. 


These genetic changes can result in new variants or strains of the virus having different characteristics from the original virus, such as increased transmissibility, severity, or resistance to treatments. 

What contributes to the mutation of the Covid virus?

As carriers and targets of the virus, humans play a large role in the mutation of viruses, especially the Covid-19 virus. The more opportunities the virus has to replicate and spread increases the number of Covid mutations. 

Some mutations may not have any significant impact on the behavior of the virus, while others may make the virus more transmissible or more resistant to existing Covid treatment or vaccines.

Lack of immunity is another contributing factor to virus mutation. The Covid-19 virus is more likely to replicate and mutate in people who have not been previously infected with or vaccinated against the virus. Multiple mutations can also make the virus stronger and more resistant to our immune systems.  

One of the biggest contributing factors is international travel. The movement of people around the world can facilitate the quick spread of new variants of the virus. Highly populated areas that experience high transmission rates create the perfect conditions for new variants to be created as well.

Knowing this solidifies the importance of vaccinations and the continuation of monitoring and studying the Covid-19 virus. Vaccines reduce the number of opportunities the virus has to replicate thus reducing the spread of the virus and its mutations. Ongoing research is needed to better understand how the virus is evolving and how to effectively manage it.

Get vaccinated at Southwest Care

Vaccines benefit public health by preventing and lessening the symptoms of serious and life-threatening illnesses, therefore preventing death and long-term complications. By getting vaccinated, you can take part in helping protect yourself and the community as a whole. Learn more about how vaccines protect you here.

Our expert physicians have the answers to your Covid-19 vaccine questions and are here to walk you through the process at your pace. If you want to make an immunization appointment or just have a question, give Southwest Care a call at 505-955-9454.