New Covid-19 variant in South Africa gives cause for concern: NPR

New Covid-19 variant in South Africa gives cause for concern: NPR


A hideous Pfizer vaccine about to be administered can be seen ahead of the start of the VaxuMzansi National Vaccine Day Campaign in South Africa on September 24, 2021.

Rajesh Jantilal / Getty Images


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Rajesh Jantilal / Getty Images


A hideous Pfizer vaccine about to be administered can be seen ahead of the start of the VaxuMzansi National Vaccine Day Campaign in South Africa on September 24, 2021.

Rajesh Jantilal / Getty Images

Virologists are rushing to learn more about a variant of the Covid-19 virus that was first identified in Botswana and that is quickly leaving other versions of the virus behind in the region of South Africa, which includes Johannesburg.

The variant currently designated as B.1.1.529 has reportedly twice as many mutations as the Delta variant, which became the dominant variant in most parts of the world over the course of the summer.

It’s not yet clear whether the mutations make this variant more contagious or whether it causes more severe illness, but researchers say the high number of mutations on the “spike proteins” – the focus of the body’s immune response – may make it better , past the defenses of the body.

Despite the spread of this variant, the number of Covid-19 cases in South Africa is still well below the delta increase at the beginning of the year. But the numbers are starting to tick again.

Until more is known about the variant, the health authorities in the United Kingdom are taking precautionary measures from flights from the six countries in southern Africa and adding them to the country’s “red list” for travelers.

The World Health Organization has called an emergency meeting for Friday to discuss the variant. If it’s of particular interest or interest, it’s likely called “Nu,” the next Greek letter in the current naming scheme.



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Rachel Meadows

Rachel Meadows

Trending topics news writer who enjoys cooking, walking her dog and travel.

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