WHO is closely monitoring 10 Covid variants as virus mutates around the world

The World Health Organization is closely following 10 coronavirus variants “of interest” or “of concern” across the world, including two that were first detected in the U.S. and a triple-mutant variant that’s wreaking havoc in India, as potential global public health threats.

New Covid-19 strains pop up every day as the virus continues to mutate, but only a handful make WHO’s official watchlist as a “variant of interest” or the more serious designation “variant of concern,” which is generally defined as a mutated strain that’s more contagious, more deadly and more resistant to current vaccines and treatments.

The organization has classified three strains as variants of concern: B.1.1.7, which was first detected in the U.K. and is the most prevalent strain currently circulating throughout the U.S.; B.1.351, first detected in South Africa, and the P.1 variant, first detected in Brazil.

One variant of interest is the B.1617 variant, or triple-mutant strain, first found in India, but the WHO’s technical lead for Covid-19, Maria Van Kerkhove, said more studies are needed to completely understand its significance.

Read More…