Alarm for a new coronavirus strain with 34 mutations

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Found in Africa three travelers with a new variant of it coronavirus, which carries more mutations -total 34- than any other known variant to date.

The researchers, led by Tulio de Oliveira of KwaZulu-Natal University in Durban, South Africa and Sylvia Lutukuta of the Angolan Ministry of Health in Luanda, made the pre-publication in medRxix, according to Gen. analysis of samples from three people who were passengers on a flight from Tanzania to Angola in February this year.

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According to AMPE, the new variant, temporarily named A.VOI.V2, has 34 mutations, of which 14 in the spike protein used by the coronavirus to infect human cells. The genomes of the coronavirus from all three travelers were almost identical while several of the 34 mutations have been found in other already known variantsς. This variant needs to be studied further, according to scientists, because its mutations may help it escape the immune reactions of some people.

It is recalled that at the end of 2020 the Genomic Surveillance Network of South Africa had -for the first time- detected the well-known -now- most contagious “South African” variant 501Y.V2, which is more resistant to antibodies and which has now spread to more than 50 countries (including Greece).

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Angola, where there have been approximately 21,500 confirmed cases and 500 deaths from Covid-19, has imposed the mandatory rapid antigen tests (rapid) on all air passengers arriving at its international airport, in addition to submitting a negative molecular test of the last 72 hours. All those who have a positive rapid test upon arrival in the country, are isolated for at least 14 days, while those who have a negative rapid test, are isolated for 10 days.

(file photo)

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