Severe Covid variant found in South Africa
Known as the 501.V2 Variant, it was identified by South African researchers and details have been sent to the World Health Organisation.
Published: Sat 19 Dec 2020, 10:28 PM
A severe variant of the coronavirus has been detected in South Africa which could explain the rapid spread of a second wave that affects younger people, the health minister said on Friday.
Known as the 501.V2 Variant, it was identified by South African researchers and details have been sent to the World Health Organisation, Zwelini Mkhize said in a statement.
A team led by the Kwazulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform (KRISP), has sequenced hundreds of virus samples since the pandemic began, and “noticed that a particular variant has increasingly dominated the findings of the samples collected in the past two months”, he added.
South African doctors have remarked that more patients are younger, and do not always have other conditions that amplify the virus’ effect, but are nonetheless suffering from more severe forms of Covid-19.