VERIFY: What do we know about the coronavirus strain in South Africa?

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Radio Health Journal

It helps to understand that this is what viruses do: they mutate.

“So every time somebody new gets infected, the virus replicates itself, and can change and mutate,” Dr. Bollinger said.

Here’s what we know about the strain found in South Africa. According to Dr. Bollinger, it looks to be more contagious than the original.

“That's true, not just about the South African variant, but other variants from Brazil and from Britain and other places,” he said.

According to Dr. Dowdy, it does not appear to be more lethal.

“We've seen this in these most recent strains is that these they don't appear to be more deadly or cause more severe illness,” he said.

However, both Dr. Dowdy and Dr. Bollinger said the research is limited. For example, we don’t know how the vaccines will work against it.