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WHO to debate dangerous South Africa coronavirus variant with 'many mutations'

Added 11-26-21 09:03:01am EST - “The World Health Organization will meet Friday to discuss what an alarming coronavirus variant with a "large number of mutations" could mean for COVID-19 vaccines and treatments as European countries started to ban flights from South…” - Washingtontimes.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Washingtontimes.com: “WHO to debate dangerous South Africa coronavirus variant with ‘many mutations’”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

The World Health Organization will meet Friday to discuss what an alarming coronavirus variant with a “large number of mutations” could mean for COVID-19 vaccines and treatments as European countries started to ban flights from South Africa and surrounding nations.

The variant known as B.1.1.529 was detected in small numbers in Johannesburg, South Africa, and nearby nations, but the globe has been burned by variants before, notably delta, and cannot afford a setback in the pandemic fight.

“We don’t know very much about this yet. What we do know is that this variant has a large number of mutations. And the concern is that when you have so many mutations, it can have an impact on how the virus behaves,” Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s technical lead for COVID-19, said in a social media Q&A.

Professor Tulio de Oliveira, the director of the Center for Epidemic Response and Innovation in Africa, said in a news briefing Thursday the variant has “many more mutations than we have expected,” including more than 30 in the spike protein the virus uses to hack into human cells.

He said it is “spreading very fast and, we expect to see pressure in the health system in the next few days and weeks.”

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