In many epidemic/pandemic situations, a lot of time the pathogen in question will mutate. For reference, this is the definition of mutation taken from Wiki:-
A mutation is an alteration in the nucleotide sequence of the genome of an organism, virus, or extrachromosomal DNA. Mutations result from errors during DNA replication, mitosis, and meiosis or other types of damage to DNA (such as pyrimidine dimers that may be caused by exposure to radiation or carcinogens), which then may undergo error-prone repair (especially microhomology-mediated end joining) or cause an error during other forms of repair or else may cause an error during replication
So my question is,
1》What is the probablity of SARS-CoV-2 mutating?
2》 How can we predict, in advance the mutation of the virus? (Maybe by studying the environmental factors of a specific place)
3》Lastly (something that makes the biologist cringe) is there any way to prevent mutation? Any way at all to somehow limit the mutations which can be used widely?
BTW I am not a biologist, only a person among the millions out there, trying to find a way to help prevent the spread of the disease. My aim is to somehow use ML with Covid data to predict mutations (if possible...)