World Health Organization officials met on Thursday to discuss a new variant of the coronavirus circulating in South Africa and Botswana.
Bloomberg reports on a special meeting of the World Health Organization. As we have already reported in Business Insider Polska, a new dangerous variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus has been detected in South Africa and Botswana. The new variant, dubbed B.1.1529, contains an unusually large number of mutations, said Francois Balloux, director of the UCL Institute of Genetics, in a statement published by the Science Media Center. He said the variant likely developed during the chronic infection of an immunocompromised person, possibly in an untreated HIV / AIDS patient.
– It is difficult to predict how much it can be transferred at this stage Balloux said. “For now, it should be closely monitored and analyzed, but there is no cause for undue concern unless the number of infections starts to increase in the near future,” he added.
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South Africa has detected 22 cases of this variant, the National Institute of Infectious Diseases said in a statement.
– While the data is limited, our experts work overtime to learn about the new variant and understand what its potential consequences could be. The changes are taking place at a rapid pace and the public can be sure that we will update them, said Adrian Puren, the executive director of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases in South Africa, quoted in the statement.
The African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said earlier that they would meet with South African officials next week to discuss a new variant in the country.