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  • COVID-19: Why the South African Variant is Scarier than the UK Strain.

  • The UK variant of COVID-19 has frightened the world but it's not the real deal.

  • Some experts believe the South African variant is a more concerning matter.

  • Not only did it manage to emerge on its own, but it also successfully landed in Japan.

  • The South African variant is more of a risk than a mutation, said UK's health minister.

  • Both variants are associated with high transmissibility rates, compared to the original coronavirus.

  • The South African variant is known as B.1.351 while the UK variant is called B.1.1.7.

  • Although the two are found with higher transmissibility, the former appears more dangerous in some sense.

  • The UK variant B.1.1.7 is believed to have a mutation that allows the coronavirus to better infect human cells.

  • When a person contracts the strain, their bodies are likely more prone to the virus and to symptoms.

  • This is why vaccines are being tested against the strain.

  • The South African variant B.1.351, meanwhile, features two concerning new abilities.

  • First, it can infect human cells better like the UK variant.

  • And second, it is more prevalent among young people without underlying health conditions.

  • Scientists compared this variant to others that have similar mutations.

  • They linked the B.1.351 strain to serious COVID-19 in young people.

  • This is what scares experts if the South African variant gets everywhere.

  • UK's Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "This is a very, very significant problem... and it's even more of a problem than the U.K. new variant".

  • According to CNBC, both South Africa and the UK are struggling to control the surge of new cases.

  • Despite being no deadlier than the original strain, the UK and South African governments are ailing to the nonstop wave of daily cases.

  • Right now, AstraZeneca/Oxford, Pfizer/BioNTech, and Moderna are expecting their vaccines to work on both variants.

  • Thanks to genome sequencing databases, vaccine makers predicted what mutations the coronavirus may have later.

  • This is similar to what manufacturers do with influenza vaccines.

  • Many experts also expect the vaccines to protect people from the variants.

  • However, research is ongoing to further determine the efficacy of these vaccines against the new strains.

  • In case the strains may lower the efficacy rates, the vaccine makers are ready to make adjustments within weeks to combat the variants.

COVID-19: Why the South African Variant is Scarier than the UK Strain.

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COVID-19: Why the South African Variant is Scarier than the UK Strain

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    Miho Ishii posted on 2021/01/06
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