Scientists are sounding the alarm because what may be the most evolved strain of coronavirus has been found in patients in different parts of the world. Its resistance to vaccines adds to concerns.
The latest known variant of Covid-19 exhibits significant changes in its spikes, which could make it invincible to vaccination. It could be the most evolved strain of coronavirus to date, as 32 mutations have apparently been detected there. The currently dominant and highly transmissible Delta strain, which has contributed to the increase in the number of cases this year worldwide, has at least 11 cutting edge mutations.
Originally spotted in three patients in Botswana – and therefore known as the Botswana variant – it has already been found in three countries since the first infections on November 11. Six cases were detected in South Africa, and another was subsequently recorded in Hong Kong. , according to British media.
The Hong Kong patient recently traveled to China from South Africa – putting scientists on high alert because the new variant could have spread anywhere on international travel. The patient would also be doubly vaccinated.
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News of the mutated strain, known as B.1.1.529 and which might end up being called “Nu”, was shared by Tom Peacock, a virologist at the Imperial College Department of Infectious Disease in London. Describing the ear profile of the Botswana variant as “horrible“he tweeted that he could be”worse antigenically than almost everything else. “
Just Spotted: Very small group of Southern African-associated variants with a very long branch length and a truly horrific Spike mutation profile including RBD – K417N, N440K, G446S, S477N, T478K, E484A, Q493K, G496S, Q498R, N501Y, Y505Hhttps: // t.co/kgA9c1hKDa
– Tom Peacock (@PeacockFlu) 23 November 2021
Please note, the new variant has a “very long branch length and really awful tip mutation profile“, the virologist said so”very, much must be watched. “On the positive side, the researchers said, the high number of mutations could mean that the variant is unstable, which could prevent it from generalizing.
So far, Covid-19 has killed more than five million people worldwide, with more than 259.5 million people infected.
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