African Scientists Research Coronavirus Mutations

Tuesday, September 15, 2020 / African scientists conduct research on Coronavirus mutations

WHO and the African Center for Disease Control have launched a new network of laboratories with the aim of mapping the Coronavirus genome. This work on virus mutations aims to give a better response to the disease to improve the care of public health services in Africa.

Twelve specialized laboratories will work on the study of the Coronavirus genome in Africa. The initiative is from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the African Center for Disease Control (CDC). The research aims to map the genome in order to detect possible mutations in the virus.

According to experts, this research will help to understand the different strains of the virus to improve the effectiveness of treatments and vaccines against the disease. Indeed, ten different lineages of the coronavirus have been identified to date on the continent.

Africa currently has 1,339,117 positive cases, including 1,076,207 recoveries and more than 30,000 deaths, a significantly lower number compared to other continents. However, in a context of precarious care in health establishments, a response adapted to the rapid evolution of the pandemic could considerably limit the extent of the disease.

In general, clinical trials of a vaccine against Covid-19 are continuing on the continent. After South Africa, Kenya is the second country to start trials on a vaccine under development, with the pharmaceutical group AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford.

Aïsha Moyouzame

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