BRAZILIAN VIRUS VARIANT IDENTIFIED IN BRITAIN
England's public health authority warned that cases of a new strain of the coronavirus first identified in Brazil have been found and might not respond as well to the vaccines available, Christoph Meyer reported for Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa).
Public Health England (PHE) said testing had identified the first British cases of the variant of the virus originally detected in northern Brazil, a new strain that may spread more rapidly and may respond less well to existing vaccines, according to Press Association (PA) news agency.
PHE said up to six cases of the concerning variant first detected in the Brazilian city of Manaus had been identified in Britain, with three in England and three in Scotland.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has been notified of the cases which are identified as "of concern" as they share key mutations with the more contagious variant detected in South Africa.
There are concerns that the existing vaccines may be less effective against the Manaus strain.
Last month, a variant from Brazil was found in Britain but this was not the variant of concern, the BBC reported. Efforts were being made to contact one of the people concerned as their test registration card had not been fully completed.
Dr. Susan Hopkins, PHE's strategic response director for COVID-19, said the important thing to remember was that no matter what strain was concerned, COVID-19 spreads the same way. "That means the measures to stop it spreading do not change," PA reported.