April 1, 2023

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The WHO considers the new variant found in South Africa to be “worrying”

CThe variant, first identified in South Africa two weeks ago, is the fifth to be classified on this significant scale by WHO experts, who have been asked to strengthen surveillance and virus sequencing.

“Variation B.1.1.529 was first reported to the WHO by South Africa on 24 November 2021 (…) This variant has a large number of mutations, some of which are of concern,” the panel said. In a press release, the WHO asked the government to follow the evolution of Govt-19.

According to the Technical Advisory Council on Virus Evolution, Omigran’s first confirmed infection occurred from a sample taken on November 9th.

In recent weeks there has been a sharp increase in infections in South Africa, which coincides with the discovery of a new variant.

To facilitate public discussions about variations, the WHO names variants using characters from the Greek alphabet (alpha, beta, gamma, delta, etc.) that are more accessible to non-scientific audiences and make this possible. To avoid stigmatizing the country where this variation was initially discovered.

Preliminary data suggest that there is a “higher risk of re-infection” with Omicron compared to other concerns, according to the WHO panel.

A new variant in the world after Delta has never caused so much concern.

All viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, which causes COV-19, change over time. Most mutations have little or no effect on the properties of the virus.

However, some mutations can and do affect the properties of a virus, for example, how easily it spreads, the severity of the disease it causes, or the effectiveness of vaccines and medications.

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According to the WHO, the SARS-CoV-2 variant is thought to be associated with one or more changes, such as an increase in spread or virus, general and social or diagnostic tools, and a decrease in the effectiveness of vaccines and treatment.

Until now, there are 4 types of concerns: delta, representing all phenomena in the world, alpha, beta and gamma.