CAPE TOWN – Information hidden in the genetic building blocks of the coronavirus will assist contact tracers as they hunt for suspected COVID-19 cases.
Scientists at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) and University of Western Cape’s South African Bioinformatics Institute (SANBI) successfully sequenced the SARS-CoV-2 virus from a South African COVID-19 patient.
Experts who unlocked these hidden secrets through the laboratory process produced a genetic “fingerprint” that’s a step towards better understanding and curbing the spread of virus.
SANBI’s Peter van Heusden explains what’s useful about this information.
“The main group that I think we can help are people who are doing in-contact tracing, who are trying to see how it goes from one person to another. So, we can assist the contact tracing people doing their fieldwork by giving them the missing pieces of the puzzle that they were not able to find.”
Van Heusden said that this research could also assist in the virus’ vaccine development.
“We need to know which bits of the virus are stable and which bits are changing all the time because the vaccine must find the bit that’s going to stay the same and target that.”
Eskom Concedes That Outrage Over Power Cuts Warranted
Electricity Minister To Visit All Power Stations
Over 500 Arrested Nationwide During Protest Action
Malema Rubbishes Concerns That EFF Nationwide Protest Will Turn Violent
Santaco Says Taxi Industry Will Operate As Normal
Government Ready To Deal With Any Eventuality
Nersa Sticks By 18.65% Tariff Increase
Anarchy Will Not Be Allowed In SA – Ramaphosa
It’s Anarchy Of The Highest Order – Mbalula
Cape Town Stockpiling Diesel For Winter
ANC Is Not Corrupt – Mbalula
No Timeline On Phala Phala Probe – Lebeya