Another new variant of COVID-19 has emerged in Nigeria
It is not yet known whether the outbreak of the new, contagious strain in Africa could be related to the newer British version.
A new strain of the novel coronavirus has emerged in Nigeria, according to the head of the African Disease Control Panel.
John Nkengasong, Africa's director of the Centers for Disease Control, said Thursday the strain in Nigeria is different from both the American and the new British versions.
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In this October photo, a London protester wears a Nigeria hat during a demonstration calling for an end to Nigerian police violence against the public. (Photo by Leon Neal / Getty Images)
Nkengasong did not confirm whether the outbreak of the new, contagious strain on the continent could be related to the newer strain in Britain.
Nigeria - the most populous country in Africa with over 200 million people - has seen coronavirus cases rise 52 percent over the past week, and the number of positive cases in South Africa has increased 40 percent.
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The Nigerian CDC and the African Center of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases plan to conduct further studies on the new strain.
"Give us some time," Nkengasong said at a virtual press conference from Addis Ababa. "It's still very early."
"In the last few weeks the number of samples in the reference laboratory (the Nigerian CDC) has increased enormously," tweeted the director general of the Nigerian CDC, Chikwe Ihekweazu, on Thursday.
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“As we continue our response to the # COVID19 pandemic in Nigeria, we have also begun the largest Lassa fever epidemiological study in history. We are deepening our knowledge of the burden of disease and contributing to @CEPIvaccines' efforts to get a #lasfefever vaccine, ”said Ihekweazu.
In Africa as a continent, there has been a remarkably low number of COVID-19 cases. Africa accounts for just 3.3 percent of the world's cases. The United States of America has less than 4 percent of the world's population but 25 percent of diagnoses of COVID-19.
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The new variant of the virus is now the predominant one in South Africa. However, it doesn't seem to result in a more severe case of the disease. In addition, vaccine manufacturers are finding that vaccines should also be effective against the new strain.
The increase in cases on the continent is most aggressive in South Africa, where new positive diagnoses in the coming days are expected to surpass the previous spring summit.
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The post Another New Variant of COVID-19 has surfaced in Nigeria and first appeared on TheGrio.
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