Fight against COVID-19 Variants in South Africa is Lesson for World
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- The emergence of a dangerous coronavirus variant in South Africa is threatening its current fight against the virus, raising fears that the mutant strains may potentially render the current vaccines ineffective
- The first signs of trouble came in October, when doctors noticed an unusual rise in the number of cases in some parts of South Africa
- Within five weeks, researchers identified a variant with mutations to its spike protein, the part of the virus that attaches to the human cell
- Scientists say these mutations could make antibodies less effective against the virus, and make people who have had coronavirus more susceptible to reinfection
- The South African variant, which has also been found to spread faster and cause severe COVID-19 disease, has been detected in more than 40 countries