South Africa has announced the discovery of a new variant of the coronavirus that could be spreading rapidly in some areas of the country.
According to Communicable Diseases Institute of the country, this variant that they have called B.1.1.529 worries specialists for two features. One is that it could have a high transmissibility index, as it is spreading rapidly in different regions of South Africa (affected in recent months by the Delta variant).
Genomic analyzes indicate that this variant is also capable of combining multiple mutations (more than 30) that had been found separately in other variants, which could make the virus more infectious and resistant to vaccines.
& mdash; World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) November 25, 2021
Experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) will meet on November 26 to discuss the new variant. “We don’t know much about this yet,” WHO COVID technical director Maria Van Kerkhove said during one of the live broadcasts. “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, “he added.
The appearance of this new variant in Africa is not something random, as the continent has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the world, which allows more infections to occur and the virus to mutate during the viral replication phase. Something similar to what happened in India with the dreaded Delta variant.