BRAZIL FINDS NEW CORONAVIRUS VARIANT FROM PATIENT WHO DIDN’T TRAVEL
Another coronavirus variant has been discovered in Brazil, health authorities said Wednesday and the infected person did leave the country, Chiara Palazzo and Martina Farmbauer reported for Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa).
Scientists identified the variant in the city of Sorocaba near Sao Paulo and are doing further research into the mutation, which is similar to the variant detected in South Africa, the Butantan biomedical institute said on Twitter. The variant was detected in a 34-year-old woman who had minor symptoms, news site G1 reported.
The patient said she had not recently traveled domestically or outside of Brazil, according to Paulo Menezes, director of Sao Paulo's coronavirus emergency center.
Mutations happen constantly in viruses and occur when the genetic makeup changes during replication. Some changes provide advantages to the pathogen. For example, they could make it easier to transmit the virus.
Previous notable coronavirus variants were first detected in Britain, South Africa and Brazil, one of the hardest-hit countries in the world by the pandemic. Only the United States has recorded a higher number of infections and deaths. Brazil has been regularly breaking its daily record for coronavirus deaths. The health ministry on Wednesday announced a new record of 3,869 deaths in 24 hours, breaking the record of 3,780 set the previous day.