A new and unusual variant of COVID-19 has appeared and was first noted in South Africa in May, the C.1.2 variant is now found in eight countries.
The new variant of COVID-19 is mutating at a rapid pace and can be extremely potent in evading the protection offered by antibodies. Currently referred to as the C.1. variant, it is yet to be called a variant of interest or concern by the World Health Organization, but drawing the attention of scientists due to the number and types of mutations it contains and the speed at which the mutations have occurred.
A preprint study put out by South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases said the C.1.2 variant was first identified in the Gauteng and Mpumalanga provinces in May 2021; it has since been found in other South African provinces as well as in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mauritius, New Zealand, Portugal, and Switzerland.