While several coronavirus mutations have already been identified in the UK and South Africa, a third variant of the virus has been detected in Japan. Four infected people have been identified and the level of contagion of this new strain remains unknown for the momentthe Japanese health ministry said on Sunday (January 10).
“For the moment, no test showing that the new variant found in these passengers from Brazil is more contagious, “said Takaji Wakita, director of the Japanese National Institute of Infectious Diseases. These four people were returning from a trip from the state of Amazonas when they tested positive for Covid-19 upon arrival at Haneda Airport in Tokyo on January 2, explains CNEWS.
Among those infected, thirty-something reported a headache and throat, a 10-year-old boy had a fever and a girl was asymptomatic, the regional newspaper details. Western france. Instead, a man in his forties was hospitalized while suffering from breathing difficulties.
A “greater potential for contagion”
According to the Brazilian Ministry of Health, this new variant of Covid-19 contains twelve mutations, one of which has been identified in strains in the UK and South Africa. “This implies greater potential for contagion“He warned. Health Minister Olivier Véran recalled Thursday that the British mutation is between 40% and 70% more contagious than the original strain. The first studies on the South African variant” also report “greater transmissibility.”
Analysis is in progress to determine if the vaccines developed so far are effective against this new mutation, says an official from the Japanese Ministry of Health. For its part, the German laboratory BioNTech announced that its product designed in partnership with Pfizer eliminated a “key mutation” of the British and South African variants.