Covid19 – New C.1.2 Variant suspected to be more contagious
A new strain of SARS-CoV-2 has emerged that is worrying the world. The latest emergent strain in the virus causing Covid-19 is being called C.1.2. Scientists say that this is one of the most transmissible strains of the virus that we know of.
The so-called C.1.2. variant was first identified in May in the South African provinces of Mpumalanga and Gauteng, where Johannesburg and the capital, Pretoria, are situated, the scientists said in a research paper. By August 13, it had been found in six of South Africa’s nine provinces as well as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mauritius, Portugal, New Zealand and Switzerland.
This strain can have 41.8 mutations per year 1.7 times more than the current global rate. It means that this variant mutates nearly twice as fast as the current global mutation rate of the other variants. And as of what we know, more than half of the C.1.2 sequences have 14 mutations.
South African scientists also discovered the beta variant in 2020. They have stressed that while the country’s advanced ability to sequence the genomes of the virus enables the identification of new strains, they could have originated elsewhere.
The original virus was identified in Wuhan, China back in 2019. Upasana Rai of CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Biological Sciences, Kolkata said, “Its transmission rate may be high and it is likely to spread rapidly. There are many mutations in the increased protein, which would make it difficult for vaccines and our own immunity to control”.