The World Health Organization has scheduled a special meeting Friday to discuss a worrying new coronavirus variant detected in South Africa that appears to be rapidly mutating.
The so-called B.1.1.529 variant appears to have a high number of mutations — about 30 — in its spike protein, which could affect how easily it spreads to people, scientists have warned.
“We don’t know very much about this yet. What we do know is that this variant has a large number of mutations. And the concern is that when you have so many mutations, it can have an impact on how the virus behaves,” said Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s technical lead on COVID-19, according to CNBC.
Here is what we know about B.1.1.529 so far.