The meeting will discuss what the variant – referred to as B.1.1.529 – could mean for vaccines, testing, emerging symptoms, and medical treatments. Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s technical lead on COVID-19, made the announcement during a WHO live broadcast, CNBC reported.
Van Kerkhove added that if the WHO’s Virus Development Working Group decides the variant is one of the things that could become more prevalent, the group will assign it a Greek name.
Ten cases related to the variant were detected in Botswana, South Africa and Hong Kong, Watchman mentioned.
We don’t know much about this [variant] “So far” what we know is that this variant has a large number of mutations, Van Kerkhove said. The concern is that when you have a lot of mutations, it can have an effect on the behavior of the virus.”
The species spread rapidly across South Africa’s Gauteng Province, a landlocked region in the northeast of the country. The county contains Pretoria, the country’s executive capital, as well as Johannesburg, the country’s most populous city.
South African scientists have discovered more than 30 mutations in the spiny variant protein. The prickly proteins on the surface of the virus enable it to attach to and infect human cells and allow the virus to multiply throughout the body.
The World Health Organization said in a press briefing that mutations of the virus may increase infection or make it able to bypass vaccines and any immunity from previous infections.
Some of the mutations are so new that scientists haven’t seen them yet. As a result, medical experts are not yet sure how the mutations affect the transmission of the variant or symptoms.
Greg Dorey, an Australian doctor who specializes in infectious diseases, wrote in a tweet Wednesday night that the variant “has associated mutations [with] Reduced efficacy of the vaccine.
However, he said the variant might not be highly transmissible. “It is time for observation, not time for panic,” he added in his tweet.
Ravi Gupta, professor of clinical microbiology at the Cambridge Institute for Therapeutic Immunology and Infectious Diseases, described the new alternative as “alarming.”
“I did not say that [a variant is worrying] Since Delta,” wrote on Twitter Wednesday. “Please vaccinate, boost and hide in public because mutations in this virus are likely to result in a high level of escape from neutralizing antibodies.”