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Heavily Mutated Covid Variant Raises Fresh Contagion Concerns

Coronavirus Nov 26, 2021 10:43
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By Oliver Gray

Investing.com - The World Health Organization is monitoring a fresh coronavirus variant detected in South Africa with numerous mutations to the spike protein, scheduling a special meeting to discuss what it may mean for vaccines and treatments.

The variant, called B.1.1.529, has been detected in South Africa in small numbers. The variant stood out because it contains more than 30 changes to the spike protein, the part of the virus that binds to cells in the body, which could have implications for vaccine efficacy and transmissibility. Many of the changes have been found in variants such as Delta and Alpha and are linked to heightened infectivity and the ability to evade infection-blocking antibodies.

 “We don’t know very much about this yet. What we do know is that this variant has a large number of mutations. And the concern is that when you have so many mutations, it can have an impact on how the virus behaves,” Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s technical lead on Covid-19, said in a Q&A that was livestreamed on the organization’s social media channels.

The monitoring of the new variant comes as coronavirus infection rates surge around the world ahead of the holiday season, with several countries across Europe attempting to curb the spike with fresh lockdown restrictions.

Meantime, The U.K. announced it would ban flights from six African countries, including South Africa, starting midday Friday. U.K.’s secretary of state for health and social care Sajid Javid made the announcement hours after the World Health Organization gave a briefing on the new variant.

“More data is needed but we’re taking precautions now. From noon tomorrow six African countries will be added to the red list, flights will be temporarily banned, and UK travellers must quarantine,” Javid wrote on Twitter (NYSE:TWTR).

Heavily Mutated Covid Variant Raises Fresh Contagion Concerns
 

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Comments (2)
Niloc Elgnid
Niloc Elgnid Nov 26, 2021 11:27
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It's probably not the " vaccine " then 🤣🤣
Niloc Elgnid
Niloc Elgnid Nov 26, 2021 11:22
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🤣
 
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