Oct 4, 2022

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

How do experts track Covid-19 variants?

Covid-19 testing, sequencing and screening are vital in tracking and detecting new variants of the virus.

This also helps experts identify where the virus is more prevalent around the world , according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Sequencing, testing and screening are helping experts observe how the virus changes as it spreads between groups of people.

“ It is natural for viruses to change. The more the virus circulates, the more opportunities it has to change. Heavy surveillance and heavy sequencing is helping the WHO, with scientists around the world, to study these changes and determine which of these changes are important and why,” said Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove from the WHO.

The organization is working with experts around the world to track down the virus and has so far identified five variants of concern worldwide.

These include the Omicron variant, which is widespread in South Africa. The organization also tracks subvariants of Omicron and the different degrees of severity.

“We are working with experts around the world to study the characteristics of the variants of concern around the world. Are they transferrable? BA1.2 is more transferrable than BA.1. We also look at the severity and whether they cause more or less serious illnesses,” said Van Kerkhove.

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