New COVID Variant, B.1.1.529, could be the most dangerous yet as it spreads to Israel

The latest and seemingly most dangerous COVID-19 variant to rear its head is called B.1.1.529. It will likely be given the name Nu as the World Health Organization watches it.

The strain was first seen in Africa and raised concern with its 32 spike protein mutations, but it has now been reported in Israel.

The person infected had returned from a trip in Malawi.

Related: COVID-19: Newest variant B.1.X, also known as B.1.640 discovered


Two others returning from trips are suspected to be infected with the strain as well.

All three people are currently quarantined. They are all vaccinated individuals as well.

The newest variant is suspected to be able to bypass vaccines and has been seen in Botswana, Hong Kong and South Africa. While some experts feel that the shots can be ineffective, others are calming concerns by saying the still could work.

It’s considered one of the worst mutations seen so far with 59 cases seen so far.

Related: COVID-19: Experts warn of new variant spreading across the globe


South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho and Eswatini were all added to the United Kingdom’s red level list and flights are banned as of Friday to those countries.

Israel has done the same. Anyone returning will legally be required to isolate when they return.

Africa is one of the most popular vacation destinations for U.K. residents. South Africa’s Foreign Ministry felt that the decision to red list the country was made in a rush and happened before the WHO weighed in.

Experts feel it is almost certain that the Nu variant will have no issue evading vaccines, rendering them ineffective.

It is thought that the vaccine may have evolved when infecting a person who was considered immunocompromised or had untreated HIV/AIDS.

Related: There is no reason to be concerned about the AY.4.2 variant of COVID-19


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