New covid-19 variant detected in South Africa: what we know

The series of emergence of new coronavirus variants does not seem ready to end. After the mu, the Delta and the Alpha, today it is the turn of the Nu variant to mark the coronavirus pandemic.

Called “B.1.1.529” by scientists, the Nu variant has been detected in Africa where it has caused a surge in cases of covid-19 contamination.

According to South African scientists, this new strain has fifteen times more mutations than the Delta variant, which had only two.

Indeed, this variant was detected on November 22 after analysis of samples collected between November 12 and 20 in Gauteng province; the most populous in South Africa.

Is the Nu variant more dangerous than the Delta?

In a statement to the South African press, Professor Richard Lessells, a scientist, said the Nu variant could be much more transmissible than the Delta. According to him, this new layer of covid-19 could even resist vaccines.

“What concerns us is that this variant might not only have an increased transmission capacity, but also be able to bypass parts of our immune system,” he explained.

As a reminder, several European countries have closed their borders to South Africa; after the detection of this variant, but also because of the outbreak of coronavirus contaminations.

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