The World Health Organization is holding a special meeting Friday to discuss a new COVID-19 variant that is raising concerns.
Experts say B11529 has a large number of mutations that may impact the effectiveness of vaccines and make it more contagious.
It has been found in South Africa where case rates are surging — increasing from 200 a day to nearly 2,500.
UCSF Infectious Disease Expert Dr. Monica Gandhi said the new variant may spread more rapidly than delta.
“It looks more transmissible, which delta was, and maybe this is more transmissible. Hopefully it won’t take over the delta but it means we need to get everyone vaccinated as fast as we can,” she said.
The new variant has been identified in South Africa, Botswana and Hong Kong.
The United Kingdom has announced plans to block flights from six African countries.
Doctors with the WHO say work is underway to try and understand how the mutations will impact virus behavior.