Home » world » A case of the new variant, deemed “worrying” by the WHO, detected in Belgium

A case of the new variant, deemed “worrying” by the WHO, detected in Belgium

A new variant, which appeared in South Africa, has been detected in Belgium. It has so many mutations that experts fear that the vaccines will no longer be effective. It has also been classified as “worrying” by the WHO.

Originally detected in South Africa but now also in Belgium, the B.1.1.529 variant of the Covid, called “Omicron”, worried by its very rapid spread potential. The World Health Organization (WHO) also declared this Friday to consider it “worrying”.

The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, therefore proposed to suspend flights from southern Africa. “Member States have agreed to quickly impose restrictions on all travel to the EU from seven countries in the Southern Africa region: Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe “, tweeted Eric Mamer, spokesman for the European Commission. These restrictions include a suspension of flights, according to this recommendation. Belgium so indicated in the evening suspend his flights to and from these countries until the end of this year.

Presence in Belgium

Besides in South Africa, cases have also already been reported to the Botswana, Hong Kong and Israel. Regarding the case detected in Belgium, the first European country to report the presence of this new variant on its territory, “it is about someone who came from abroad. Tested positively on November 22. Who was not not vaccinated “, announced the Minister of Health, Frank Vandenbroucke at the beginning of the afternoon. His cabinet clarified thathe came from Egypt, had passed through Turkey and arrived on Belgian soil on November 11. “It’s a suspect variant, we don’t know if it’s a very dangerous variant. Do not panic“, hammered the minister.

32

The new variant would display 32 mutations in the protein that allows the virus to enter cells.

A position shared by the interfederal spokesperson for the fight against Covid-19 Yves Van Laethem, according to which the information on this strain of the virus is not complete enough to affirm that it represents a threat.

Spike protein mutations

This variant presents numerous mutations (the figure is already 32) in the Spike protein. This is considered the key to the virus, because it allows it toenter the body and therefore enter the cells. Its role is central and scientists use it extensively to manufacture anti-covid vaccines.

Antibody reaction

The microbiologist Emmanuel André confirms that the number of 32 mutations is important. “And what also attracts attention is where these mutations are located, because this element can influence the ability of antibodies to recognize the virus and the ability of the virus to enter our cells.”



“We do not know the impact of these mutations on the transmissibility of the virus or on its virulence. Nor to what extent vaccines will protect us against this variant.”

Emmanuel André

Microbiologist

At present, no formal findings can be drawn. “We do not know the impact of these mutations on the transmissibility of the virus or on its virulence. Nor to what extent vaccines will protect us against this variant,” warns Emmanuel André. “No one can say today that vaccines are effective against this variant, or are not!”

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.