“To further analyze the variant we must first isolate it“, an official in the Japanese Ministry of Health told AFP.”It could take between several weeks and several months (…) so it is difficult at the moment to say when we can give details.“on this variant,” he added.
Japan announced on Sunday that it had detected a new variant of the coronavirus, without being able to say immediately whether it was more contagious or more dangerous than other variants already spotted in the world.
One variant detected in four people
It was discovered on two adults and two children who arrived in Japan on January 2 from Brazil, Japanese health authorities explained.
One of those people, a man in his 40s, was subsequently hospitalized in Japan with difficulty breathing, while a woman and one of two children, a boy, developed moderate symptoms. .
The fourth person, a girl, is asymptomatic.
Similarities with other known variants of the coronavirus
The Japanese National Institute of Infectious Diseases said the new variant discovered in Japan had similarities with those identified in the United Kingdom and South Africa.
Japan warned the World Health Organization (WHO) this weekend about this new variant.
“The more the Covid-19 spreads, the more likely it is that it will still evolve (…). The transmissibility of some variants of the virus appears to be increasing“WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus commented on Monday.
Not all mutations in a virus are necessarily more contagious or dangerous.
But the discoveries in December of a variant of Covid-19 highly contagious in the United Kingdom, then another in South Africa, raised serious concerns around the world, in particular casting doubt on the effectiveness of vaccines in the face of to a possible ultra-resistant form of the coronavirus.