health
Monday Sep 20 2021
By
Web Desk

Coronavirus mutated 30 times in South African woman: report

By
Web Desk
A South African health worker receives the Johnson and Johnson coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination at the Khayelitsha Hospital near Cape Town, South Africa, February 17, 2021. — Reuters/File
A South African health worker receives the Johnson and Johnson coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination at the Khayelitsha Hospital near Cape Town, South Africa, February 17, 2021. — Reuters/File

  • The woman was HIV-positive.
  • She carried virus for 216 days.
  • Serval variants have originated in S Africa. 


The coronavirus mutated at least 30 times as an HIV-positive South African woman carried the virus for 216 days, Bloomberg reported Monday.

The publication said Tulio de Oliveira, bioinformatics professor who runs gene-sequencing institutions at two South African universities, revealed the development at a conference.

“There is good evidence that prolonged infection in immunocompromised individuals is one mechanism for the emergence of COVID-19 variants", the bioinformatics professor said.

Africa, according to the publication, is the continent with the lowest vaccination numbers, and thus, several COVID-19 variants have originated here — beta mutation found in South Africa, eta from Nigeria, and most recently C.1.2, again from South Africa.

Meanwhile, President of the South African Medical Research Council Glenda Gray said people who are immunocompromised shed for much longer, and viral evolution happens when you are shedding.

“Speed and coverage are important to make sure that people who are HIV-positive are getting vaccinated," Gray added.