The world is once again on ‘High Alert’ in the battle against COVID-19.
As has been anticipated, the emergence of a new variant is putting clinicians on the brink of a nervous breakdown. This variant is so far considered to be the worst ever found; even being described as ‘horrific’. This is due to it being an unusual combination of mutations, with more than 50 mutations that have already been identified, 30 of which are in the spike protein. It is feared that as the spike protein is the target of the vaccines, this could seriously compromise the effectiveness of such.
To date 77 cases have been diagnosed in South Africa, 4 cases in Botswana and 1 case in Hong Kong. Laboratories are now focused on understanding whether this variant is actually as dangerous as it appears on paper in order. If it is then fears are that it may cause setbacks in group immunities already achieved around the world.
New isolation and containment measures are expected soon.