Sumary of Most concerning feature of new variant:
- Deakin University epidemiologist Professor Catherine Bennett said the B.
- In comparison to the handful of major mutations in other variants, the latest version had more than 50 mutations and Prof Bennett said this is “unusual”.
- ” Prof Bennett said the variant was so new, the WHO is yet to give it a name, although it is scheduled to do this on Friday, with many expecting it will be called “Nu” if the organisation continues to follow its Greek alphabet pattern.
- 1.1.529 also a “strange signature” that makes it possible to detect using normal PCR testing.
- This means the variant can be identified in anyone who gets tested for Covid, including returning travellers, and they can be asked to isolate in order to stop it from spreading in Australia.
- “This shows you that a mutation can take off in one person, and that’s the problem, it’s always a risk,” Prof Bennett said.
- Prof Bennett said in general the more the virus spread the more likely it was that mutations would develop as they generally happen while the virus is replicating itself.
- “We don’t know how things will play out,” Prof Bennett said.