Mutation of the virus: several variants of Covid-19 listed around the world

Cells infected with Sars-CoV2.

© Sébastien Eymieux / Philippe Roingeard, Inserm - University of Tours

Text by: RFI Follow

2 min

Like all viruses, the Sars-Cov2 virus has continued to mutate since its appearance more than a year ago in China.

More contagious and more dangerous, several variants of the coronavirus have thus been identified around the world.


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A few tens of thousands of Sars-Cov 2 variants are listed all over the world.

But, there are in year 4 which currently worry the health authorities of all countries because they are more contagious, more resistant and more numerous.

These are the British, South African, Brazilian and Indian variants, which appeared more recently.

According to the World Health Organization, it is the British variant which circulates the most and represents nearly 40% of all variants detected in the world.

It has already been identified in at least 139 countries since its appearance in England in September 2020.

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As for the South African variant, 87 countries have reported its presence and the Brazilian variant is detected in around fifty countries.

The disturbing variant is that recently identified in India, the United Kingdom, the United States and Singapore.

According to the WHO, this Indian variant is also already present in at least 17 European countries.

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Covid-19: the Indian variant present in 17 countries according to the WHO

As the sequencing of the Covid-19 virus, which makes it possible to list the variants, is not carried out by all countries, it is currently difficult to measure the real extent of the diffusion of these different variants in the world.


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  • Coronavirus