New variant has unusually high mutation rate

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A new coronavirus variant with an unusually high mutation rate is currently keeping experts in South Africa busy. The spread of the variant, known as C.1.2, has increased slightly in recent months, the South African Institute of Infectious Diseases (NICD) said yesterday.

C.1.2 has been detected in all nine South African provinces, it said. The variant has also been detected in China, Mauritius, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

NICD scientist Penny Moore stressed that the prevalence of C.1.2 remains “very low.” Therefore, she said, it is not yet possible to predict whether existing vaccines will be effective against this variant. However, she said she was “confident that the vaccines used in South Africa will continue to protect us against serious illness and death.”

— source: orf.at/picture:pixabay.com

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