The New COVID Strain: Affinity Health Tells You What You Need To Know
The new strain of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is raising many questions and concerns among South Africans. Affinity Health explains the nature of this new strain and ways you can keep your family safe.
Since the coronavirus pandemic began last year, scientists have identified several mutated variations of the virus. Some of these variants seem to spread more quickly than the original virus.
Although there is no evidence that these variants cause more severe illness, the trajectories are worrisome. Faster transmission rates are being reported, resulting in exponential growth in the number of COVID-19 cases.
The new coronavirus strain identified in South Africa has accelerated the onset of the second wave of infections, resulting in the government implanting tighter lockdown regulations.
At the time of going to press, the new strain was dominating infections in three provinces – KwaZulu-Natal, the Eastern Cape, and to a lesser extent, the Western Cape.
“While scientists are racing to learn more about this variant, it’s important to note that mutations in viruses are not new, nor are they unexpected. All viruses mutate over time,” says Murray Hewlett, CEO of Affinity Health.
“It’s believed that the mutations in this new strain affect the coronavirus’ spike proteins (the outer coating of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus). These proteins help the virus attach to human cells in the nose and other areas and invade the body, causing COVID-19 illness. The result is that the virus could spread faster from person to person.”
Hewlett continues to say that the good news is that experts have so far not seen any indication that the new strain is more dangerous in terms of causing more severe symptoms.
“Our working assumption from all experts remains the same: social distancing, wearing masks, and washing your hands are still three of the main ways to stop the spread of Covid-19.”
Affinity Health recommends the following to keep yourself and your loved ones safe:
- Maintain at least a one-metre distance between yourself and others to reduce your risk of infection.
- Always wear a face mask when around other people and make sure it fully covers both your mouth and your nose.
- Avoid crowds and gatherings as the chances of infection are higher in crowded and inadequately ventilated spaces.
- Wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub/sanitiser as often as possible.
- Stay home as much as possible.
- Self-isolate for a period of 14 days even if you have minor symptoms such as cough, headache, or mild fever.
- If you have difficulty breathing, seek medical attention immediately, informing health care workers of your symptoms before entering into a health care facility.
About Affinity Health
Affinity Health aims to provide premier quality, affordable medical insurance to South Africans. We strive to give our clients peace of mind and the highest standard of service when they are faced with injury or illness. We work to deliver innovative solutions that are simple, cost-effective, and proven, so our cover is structured to ensure that you get exactly what you need. For more information, follow us on Facebook, and Instagram.