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A new Covid-19 variant could show immune evasion and enhanced transmissibility, South African scientists warn | St. Louis News Headlines – St. Louis, Missouri

St. Louis, Missouri 2021-11-26 06:22:00 –

(CNN)-South Africa’s Health Minister announced new discoveries on Thursday coronavirus A variant that appears to be spreading rapidly in parts of the country.

“At first it looked like the emergence of several clusters, but since yesterday scientists at the Genome Surveillance Network have shown that we are observing new variants,” said Health Minister Joe Fara. He stressed that it is currently unclear where the variants are. -Currently called B.1.1.529-First appeared.

So far, it has been detected in South Africa, Botswana, and travelers from South Africa to Hong Kong, Fara added.

During the news briefing, genomics scientists said variant The number of mutations is unusually high, with more than 30 mutations Key spike protein -Structures used by viruses to invade cells that attack.

Professor Trio de Oliveira, director of the Epidemic Response and Innovation Center, said the variant “has more mutations than expected” and “is spreading very rapidly and the next medical treatment. We expect to put pressure on the system, “he added. Days and weeks. “

He advised the general public, “Try to avoid super-spreading events.”

Authorities also expressed concern that mutations could lead to viral anti-immunity and increased infectivity, but it is time to know how mutations affect vaccine efficacy. He added that it was too early. More studies need to be undertaken to understand the clinical severity of the mutant compared to previous variants, officials said.

“The full importance of this variant is still uncertain, and the best tool we have is still the vaccine,” said De Oliveira. He added that laboratory studies still need to be conducted to test vaccine and antibody avoidance.

UK bans flights from 6 African countries

Also on Thursday, UK officials announced that six African countries would be added to the UK travel “Red List” after the UK Health and Safety Agency expressed concern about the variant.

UK Health Minister Sajid Javid said flights from South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana, Eswattini and Zimbabwe to the UK will be suspended from noon on Friday and all six countries will be added to the Red List. If you return from these departure points, you will be required to undergo a 10-day hotel quarantine at your own expense.

“UKHSA is investigating new variants. More data is needed, but we are currently taking precautions,” said the variants identified in South Africa “potentially contagious.” Javid said. Delta stock And, “The vaccine we currently have may be less effective.”

Javid added that “this new variant has not been detected” so far in the United Kingdom.

On Friday, South African authorities will explain to the World Health Organization, which has classified B.1.1.529 as a “supervised variant.”

South Africa, like much of the region, Suffering from three important Covid-19 waves Since the pandemic started. Currently, the number of new infections nationwide is still relatively low, with positive levels below 5%, but due to slow vaccine intake, public health officials are already predicting a fourth wave.

The-CNN-Wire

™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., Warner Media Company. all rights reserved.

Duarte Mendonca of CNN contributed to this report.



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