Scientists have discovered a new variant of the coronavirus in South Africa. It may be related to a more severe course of infection in younger people. It's not the first virus mutation.
A new variant of the coronavirus has been discovered in South Africa. Health Minister Zwelini Mkhize suspects that the variant named 501st V2 could be a cause of the rapid spread of the second coronavirus wave in the country.
According to doctors, more younger people were infected than before during the second wave of the virus in South Africa. They also suffered more often from a more severe course of the lung disease Covid-19.
Not the first mutation
The new virus variant was discovered by a research team led by the South African Kwazulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform (KRISP), which had examined hundreds of samples since the beginning of the pandemic.
The scientists also passed their research on to the World Health Organization (WHO) and British authorities.
In the UK, research teams had recently discovered a similar mutation in the coronavirus in their samples. According to Mkhize, this was partly responsible for the sharp increase in the number of infections in parts of Great Britain. Several variants of the coronavirus have already been found since the beginning of the pandemic.