South African COVID-19 virus variant reported in Ghana-CDC Africa

Ghana has been reported by the Africa Center for Disease Control (CDC) to be among the nations on the continent where a new form of COVID-19 is circulating.

“The continental body said the new variant, with high viral shedding, is “more transmissible than previously circulated versions.

The Africa CDC reported in a statement released on Friday, January 29, 2021, that a total of three new variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus have been detected worldwide; in the United Kingdom, 501Y/VUI-202012/01, in South Africa, 501Y.V2, and in Brazil, 501Y.V3.

It said, while the scale of spread of the latest variants in Africa is not readily fully appreciated, it confirmed that the 501Y.V2 version, which was first discovered in South Africa, is currently spreading in 22 countries worldwide, including Ghana.

Botswana and Zambia are other countries in Africa that have reported infections from the current South Africa variant.

Preliminary results indicate that three new related but distinct strains of Extreme Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) identified in the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil, 501Y/VUI-202012/01, 501Y.V2, 501Y.V3, respectively, are substantially more transmissible than previously circulating variants, with increased viral shedding across cases detected.’ There is currently limited data on the extent to which these new variants have spread in Africa, but preliminary data indicate that in 22 countries worldwide, including South Africa, Ghana, Botswana and Zambia, the 501Y.V2 variant has been reported, the CDC’s statement said.

In South Africa, scientists have previously said that the current version is 50 percent more infectious than the previous strains.

The Africa CDC says it is currently focusing on mapping the regional distribution of all three versions, as well as encouraging local laboratories to meet the evolving sequencing needs for SARS-CoV-2 and ensuring that geographically representative and timely data is available.

The Africa CDC, meanwhile, ties the dissemination of new strains of the virus to the second wave of infections of COVID-19, which it says is faced by at least 40 countries, including all Southern African nations.

Source: citinewsroom



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