Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Africa has now confirmed that the coronavirus seen in Nigeria is a new strain of already existing coronavirus. The public health body also shared that it is conducting an investigation to find out the mutation.
While the world is already suffering from a long-lasting pandemic, this news on the new strain of coronavirus can cause panic and anxiety. Before this news, new variants of the same virus have already been reported from the United Kingdom, and South Africa, after which various countries have banned flights from these countries.
Now that the world is all set to enjoy a major holiday, this news of a deadly variation can restrict people to meet their friends and family. CDC has however not commented on this saying that it is too early to say anything and it will complete the investigation first.
This alert on the new coronavirus strain is made after the researchers spotted two or three different genetic sequences that were not seen before in the main virus. But this news is enough to initiate an emergency meeting of CDC Africa, this week.
This mutated virus is spotted in two new Covid patients which were reported on Aug 3rd and Oct 9th. Both these cases were reported from Osun, a state in Nigeria. Just like the strain spotted in the UK, it looks like a new virus. But the difference is that it is not rapidly spreading in the country like the British virus.
So there is no way to find out if these two variants are the same or different. Genomic surveillance on this new Nigerian strain will help identify these changes. On the other side, new coronavirus cases have been reported from various parts of Africa. But there is no confirmation if all of them are infected by the same old virus or the mutated strain
The health agency says that there are chances that this new coronavirus strain will become dominant in Africa, as Nigeria has recently hit 1 million cases. All coronavirus transmit faster and in every patient, this viral load is considerably higher. But it is still not clear if it will cause a severe infection or not.
The CDC Africa hopes that this new mutation brings no change to the severity and deaths by Covid-19. Health Minister of South Africa earlier reported a high increase in the country as nearly 14,000 new Covid-19 cases are reported the day before and 400 of them died. Ever since this pandemic has started, this is the highest single-day increase reported.
The Covid-19 cases in the African continent have hit 2.5 cases which makes nearly 3.3% of the total cases of coronavirus worldwide. During the last four weeks, the cases have increased by 10.9% from which 52% cases were reported from Nigeria and 40% were reported from the rest of Africa.
The virus was first reported in February 2020 in Africa. Nigeria came into huge limelight after millions of cases were reported in Nigeria.