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FACT FINDERS: C.1.2 variant on scientists’ radar

Published: Sep. 7, 2021 at 6:22 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Health experts are paying special attention to another new COVID variant. Right now, it is not a Variant of Concern or even a Variant of Interest, but it could be soon.

C.1.2 has the attention of scientists around the world. That’s because it has a number of key mutations that are similar with other variants we have seen that have gone on to become Variants of Interest or Concern, like Delta. Dr. Sean Elliott with Tucson Medical Center is watching it as well.

”It’s another one which is again more contagious than prior variants but so far very limited distribution including in the United States. So, it seems to be localized something which the World Health Organization is tracking and the CDC of course but so far not of any major impact here stateside,” he said.

Dr. Elliott says it was first detected in South Africa. According to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases in South Africa, it is present in all provinces but at a relatively low rate.

But if researchers are so concerned about it then why isn’t it classified as a Variant of Interest or Variant of Concern? Currently, it does not meet the criteria from the World Health Organization although some believe it could be on that track.

Simply put, a Variant of Interest shows increased transmissibility, disease severity, immune escape, and/or diagnostic or therapeutic escape. It also is present in multiple countries.

A Variant of Concern meets all that criteria but is a step above that showing changes at a degree of global public health significance.

For more specifics about these classifications, click here.

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