Scientists have discovered a “highly divergent” strain of Covid that needs “urgent investigation,” according to new research.
A team of experts has discovered a variant in Africa that has changed 34 times, according to a medical article.
And it has been found that among those changes, 14 are in the spike protein – the part that gets into human cells and causes disease.
Three cases of the new “very different” variant were discovered in people who had landed in Angola from Tanzania in mid-February.
Both countries have been on the “Red List” for travel in Great Britain since January.
According to a new research paperThe seemingly new variant contains the E484K modification, which can help the virus overcome antibodies.
Scientists previously warned that a new mutation could spread rapidly around the world and even affect young people.
The new strain, called A.VOI.V2 and called Variant of Interest (VOI), should be investigated immediately, according to the paper, which was not peer-reviewed.
In comparison, the Brazilian variant has mutated 18 times and the British variant has transformed 17 times.
The paper states: “Although we have only discovered three cases with this new VOI, an urgent investigation is needed as the country of origin has a largely undocumented epidemic and few public health measures have been taken to prevent spread within and outside the country to prevent. “
The group of experts behind the study decided to label the new variant as VOI because it has mutations that are known to neutralize antibodies and may be more transmissible.
Tanzania has had a troubled relationship with the coronavirus and it was rumored that the country’s president died of the disease last month.
John Magafuli, 61, died in hospital of heart complications.
However, opposition politicians claimed he contracted coronavirus after disappearing from public life.
Mr Magafuli was a well-known coronavirus skeptic and urged his country’s people to use prayers and herbal remedies to fight the virus.
He even declared Tanzania free of the disease last June, questioning the usefulness of masks and expressing doubts about tests.
“Coronavirus, which is a devil, cannot survive in the body of Christ … it will burn immediately,” Magafuli said BBC.
The country has also recorded just 509 cases and a total of 21 deaths, with fears officials are hiding the true nature of the pandemic.
Dr. Tony Lockett of the London Institute of Pharmaceutical Science at King’s College previously said The sun about how new mutations could spread around the world.
He said: “The effect – well, it could be devastating – is much worse than the original, as younger people could get sick and those who had the virus could be re-infected with the new strain
“It’s really very scary.”
Outbreaks in other countries around the world, such as Brazil and India, have worried scientists – fearing that this could slow the march towards freedom.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson canceled a long-planned trip to India earlier this week as the country is currently registering more than 200,000 cases a day.