Tuesday, April 20

Coronavirus variants: why poor virus surveillance in Latin America may become a global problem

  • Carlos Serrano (@carliserrano)
  • BBC World News


Image source, Getty


Tracking virus mutations is key to fighting the pandemic.

Brazil is experiencing one of the worst moments of the pandemic, with a growing number of infections and deaths due to covid-19.

The spike in cases in recent days has been attributed in part to the spread of a highly contagious variant of the virus, called P.1, which is believed to have originated in the Amazon city of Manaus.

Experts warn that what is happening in Brazil is just one example of the importance of tracking the emergence of variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in Latin America.

This trace is known as genomic surveillance, and, according to the experts consulted by BBC Mundo, it is a task in which Latin America is lagging behind.


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