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Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Health authorities issue a warning regarding a newly discovered, severely mutated strain of Covid


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Global health authorities are keeping an eye on a new Covid-19 lineage because of the numerous mutations that could make prevention and treatment more difficult.

BA.2.86, which was discovered by virus trackers earlier this week, is not well recognized. Only a few cases have been documented in the US, Denmark, and Israel, but the World Health Organization and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were alerted to its alterations.

Since it first appeared on the international scene more than three years ago, Covid has kept evolving.

The WHO issued a warning earlier this month about a new variety known as “Eris” that was rapidly spreading throughout the world. Both Moderna Inc. and Pfizer Inc. declared on Thursday that their modified Covid injections provided Eris protection.

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According to Kristian Andersen, an immunologist and microbiologist at Scripps Research, BA.2.86’s mutations give it “all the hallmark features of something that could take off,” who posted on Twitter, the social media site Elon Musk is calling X.

However, the new lineage has more than 30 mutations on its spike protein, according to Ryan Hisner, an independent researcher who has closely followed Covid’s evolution. BA.2.86 appears to descended from the BA.2 variety that first appeared in early 2022. The spike protein, which is the target of the vaccines created by Moderna and Pfizer, aids the virus in attaching to cells.

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