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Montevideo, January 24th 2021 - 00:42 UTC

 

 

Japan detects a new coronavirus variant in travelers from Brazil's Amazon

Monday, January 11th 2021 - 09:01 UTC
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A Japanese ministry official said studies were underway into the efficacy of vaccines against the new variant A Japanese ministry official said studies were underway into the efficacy of vaccines against the new variant

A new coronavirus variant has been detected in four travelers from Brazil's Amazonas state, Japan's Health Ministry said on Sunday the latest new mutation of the virus discovered.

A ministry official said studies were underway into the efficacy of vaccines against the new variant, which differs from highly infectious variants first found in Britain and South Africa that have driven a surge in cases.

“At the moment, there is no proof showing the new variant found in those from Brazil is high in infectiousness,” Takaji Wakita, head of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, told a health ministry briefing.

Still, Brazil's health ministry said it has been notified by Japan's authorities that the new variant has 12 mutations, and one of them has already been identified in the variants found in Britain and South Africa.

“It implies a potential higher virus infectiousness,” it said.

Of the four travelers who arrived at Tokyo's Haneda airport on Jan 2, a man in his forties had a problem breathing, a woman in her thirties had a headache and sore throat, a male teenager had a fever, while a female teenager showed no symptoms, the health ministry said.

Following a steep rise in coronavirus cases, Japan declared a state of emergency for Tokyo and three prefectures neighboring the capital last Thursday.

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