The Drudge Report blared with a red fonted headline: The WHO is spooked over a new COVID mutation..
The new discovery, called B.1.1529 until a Greek letter is assigned.. but at this point it was discovered in South Africa..
“Here is a mutation variant of serious concern,” Health Minister Joe Phaahla said at the same media event. “We were hopeful that we might have a longer break in between waves — possibly that it would hold off to late December or even next year January.”
The new variant is likely to have evolved during a chronic infection of an immuno-compromised person, possibly in an untreated HIV/AIDS patient, Francois Balloux, director of the UCL Genetics Institute, said in a statement published by the Science Media Centre…
Virologists have detected almost 100 cases linked to the variant in the South Africa to date.
Other nations across the world, Europe, and even the United States are joining South Africa in a surge of cases…
WHY THE FEAR?
From the UK GUARDIAN, much more extensive reporting:
The variant was first spotted in Botswana, where three cases have now been sequenced. Six more have been confirmed in South Africa, and one in Hong Kong in a traveller returning from South Africa. Dr Tom Peacock, a virologist at Imperial College London, posted details of the new variant on a genome-sharing website, noting that the “incredibly high amount of spike mutations suggest this could be of real concern”. In a series of tweets, Peacock said it “very, very much should be monitored due to that horrific spike profile”, but added that it may turn out to be an “odd cluster” that is not very transmissible. “I hope that’s the case,” he wrote.