Seven things to know about COVID-19 variants in Africa

New COVID-19 variants have emerged in Africa as the continent records anew peak in infections. While virus mutations are not unusual, those that are more infectious are worrisome.Professor Francisca Mutapi, Professor in Global Health Infection and Immunity, University of Edinburgh,explains the implications of SARS-CoV-2 variants and what African countries can do to respond. Why do viruses mutate, and should we be worried about SARS-CoV-2 variants? Viruses mutate as they replicate. Replication requires that the virus’s genetic information is copied. But this copying is not accurate. It produces mistakes such as…

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