Unique Covid-19 variant detected in Kenya

Unique Covid-19 variant detected in Kenya

Scientists at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri) have discovered a new coronvirus variant. This variant was detected in the East African nation and is yet to be detected elsewhere in the world.

New findings in Kenya’s Medical institute were released which said that a totally different variant of the Coronavirus has been detected in Kenya. Studies are being conducted in the institute to find out about this variant. Researchers at the institute are trying to find whether it’s more easily spread and if it causes more severe illness.

According to Charles Agoti, a researcher at the Kenya Medical Research Institute, the variant was picked up in the southern Taita Taveta country and is spreading around the nation. This COVID variant is entirely different from those detected in the United Kingdom and South Africa and is entirely unique to Kenya. The team of scientists said that if the results from Taita are anything to go by, the new variant could be silently spreading.

Between June to October, the team collected samples from more than 200 people in 8 countries which included Nairobi, Kajiado, Kilifi, Taita Taveta, Tana River, Mombasa, Kwale and Lamu. 16 circulating lineage were identified of which 12 sequences were recorded to be unique.

The Daily Nation newspaper reported that since the virus came into existence, scientists at the institute have sequenced about 500 genomes and most of them were collected during the second wave.

Until more tests are completed, it is too soon to say with certainty that by how much, the new variant impacts the disease pattern in the country.

There were less than 100 Covid-19 cases reported over the last one week in Kenya. But the health experts have warned the country that this may just be calm before another storm.


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