The British variant was already present in Germany in November. This is what the German health authorities announced on December 29. In a statement, the Ministry of Health of Lower Saxony specifies that scientists have “was able to sequence the B.1.1.7 virus variant“, the new strain of the coronavirus,”in a person infected in November this year“.

Read also: Five things to know about the new variant of the coronavirus

A “very old” man infected by his daughter

The infected patient at the end of November, “very old“and suffering from previous pathologies, is”meanwhile deceased“, added the statement, without specifying the cause of death. The wife of this man, who contracted the same strain of the coronavirus, is cured. Their daughter had stayed in the United Kingdom”mid november“, and would be”in all likelihood“infected on the spot before infecting her parents, say the authorities.

So far, Germany had only reported one proven case of the new coronavirus mutation, in a woman who arrived by plane from London on December 24.

50 to 74% more contagious

This B.1.1.7 variant was identified in early December in the United Kingdom. It is believed to be responsible for a large part of the infections detected in the south of England since the beginning of the month.

According to a study by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, this new variant of the coronavirus is “50% to 74%“more contagious than its predecessors, raising fears of more hospitalizations and deaths in 2021 than in 2020.

But nothing shows at this stage that this variant leads to more serious forms. At the moment, there is also no evidence to suggest that the vaccines already available are not effective against this new strain.

A case detected in France

Since the identification of the variant, several countries have indicated that they have detected cases of this new virus: the Netherlands, Italy, Sweden, Spain, Japan, Lebanon, Denmark and Canada.

In France, a first case of contamination by the B.1.1.7 variant was detected on December 26 in a French national usually residing in the United Kingdom. The man was asymptomatic and was isolated at his home in Tours, then said the Ministry of Health.