SA Strain Fear Grips Odisha After Ganjam Native Tests COVID-19 Positive; Know About This Variant
Bhubaneswar: To prevent a COVID-19 resurgence, Odisha has stepped up surveillance and started an aggressive screening of people at two airports and all railway stations in the state.
Besides two passengers from Mumbai, a Ganjam native who had recently returned from South Africa has tested positive for COVID-19. This has raised concern over the highly infectious SA strain.
THE SA STRAIN
The coronavirus mutation first identified in South Africa last year is 50 per cent more contagious than previous strains, one of South Africa’s leading infectious disease experts Salim Abdool Karim was quoted as saying by Forbes in January this year.
The recent surge in cases there was also attributed to this new genetic mutation of the virus.
The variant carries a mutation, called N501Y, that appears to make it more contagious or easy to spread, the BBC reported.
However, there is no evidence that the South Africa variant causes more serious illness.
The main concern is that it can spread more readily and vaccines may not work quite as well against it.
The strain has also been detected in 20 other countries, incuding Austria, Ireland, Israel, France and Japan. In the UK, 188 cases of the variant have been found, the BBC report added.