A new variant of the coronavirus was recently detected in South Africa. According to South African scientists, the new strain contains a worrying number of mutations.
The variant is called C.1.2., and was first identified in May in the South African provinces of Mpumalanga and Gauteng, home to Johannesburg and the capital, Pretoria. Since its appearance, the new strain has also been found in seven other countries in Africa, Oceania, Asia and Europe.
Variations in the virus “are associated with greater transmissibility” and an increased ability to evade antibodies, the scientists said. “It is important to highlight this lineage given its constellation of mutations.”
Mutations are initially classified as variants of interest by the World Health Organization (WHO). When they are more serious or transmissible, they are called worrying variants.
A C.1.2. emerged from C.1., a strain of the virus that dominated infections in the first wave of the pandemic in South Africa in 2020.
The new finding has been published on the KwaZulu-Natal Research Sequencing and Innovation Platform, known as Krisp, and the National Institute of Communicable Diseases, by South African groups.