WHO assesses effectiveness of tests in detecting new coronavirus mutation

WHO assesses effectiveness of tests in detecting new coronavirus mutation

The World Health Organization (WHO) has assessed the effectiveness of tests for coronavirus in detecting a new mutation of the pathogen. This was revealed by Frank Conings, a senior WHO laboratory expert, during an online session with British experts. The broadcast was held on the organization’s Twitter account.

Existing test systems can still be used to determine if people are infected with the new mutation of the virus, he said. “In principle, we can still detect the virus itself with molecular tests, and based on recent news reports, even antigen or rapid tests still work against these new [SARS-CoV-2] variants,” the expert explained.

Earlier, the WHO reported that there is no evidence at this time that the new strain is in any way increasing the severity of the disease. Previously, the organization claimed that the new strain of coronavirus is more infectious, but overall does not change the level of danger of the disease.

A dangerous mutation of the coronavirus was discovered in Britain in September. So far, about a thousand cases of infection with the new strain have been identified. The mutation has also been detected in patients in Denmark, the Netherlands, and South Africa. The British Advisory Council on New and Emerging Respiratory Viral Threats said this variant of the coronavirus is spreading faster.

More than 20 countries, including Russia, have announced the suspension of transport links with Great Britain.