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New Covid variant puts authorities on high alert

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The new variant has “substantially mutated” compared to the original virus

A new COVID-19 variant, C.1.2, detected in Mauritius, South Africa, England, China, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, New Zealand, Portugal, Switzerland, has put the international community on high alert.

As per a new study that is preprint and awaits peer review, the C.1.2 variant may be more infectious and have the ability to evade COVID-19 vaccines currently available.

According to reports, the new variant has “substantially mutated” compared to C.1 and contains more mutations of the original virus detected in Wuhan than any other variant of concern identified so far around the world.

the C.1.2 has a mutation rate of approximately 41.8 Mutations per year. This is almost twice the current total mutation rate of the other variants.

The study conducted by South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases and the Kwazulu-Natal Research, Innovation and Sequencing Platform.

Scientists fear that the combination of these mutations, along with changes in other parts of the virus, will help the virus escape antibodies and immune responses, even in patients who were previously infected with the alpha or beta variants.

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