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New COVID variant with "constellation" of mutations puts scientists on high alert
Updated: 2021-11-26 07:44:22 KST
A new variant of COVID-19 with an "extremely high number" of mutations has been detected in Africa.
Spike proteins are what viruses use to attach themselves to human cells and this variant is known to have 32 mutations in the spikes.
And, because some vaccines target spike proteins scientists are concerned this strain may evade them.
The variant expected to be dubbed the Nu strain has so far been detected in 10 people in three countries.
First in Botswana -where two cases were confirmed.
Then six in South Africa and one in Hong Kong in a traveler returning from South Africa.
A UK-based expert says the mutations evolved during a chronic infection in a person with a weakened immune system -possibly an untreated AIDS patient.
Reporter : kelee@arirang.com