According to Portafolio, a man who arrived in the country on December 12 from England and tested positive for COVID-19 set off the health authorities’ alarms for the virus variant detected in the United Kingdom.
But the National Institute of Health clarified that the man was infected in Colombia.
In Brazil, the new variant of Sars-CoV-2, potentially more transmissible than the current version, was identified in two cases. The information was disclosed last Thursday by Dasa, a leading diagnostic medicine company in Brazil, and the University of Sao Paulo (USP).
On December 31, the Imperial College of London disclosed a pre-print authored by a collaborative team from the institution and its partners (the University of Edinburgh, Public Health England, the Wellcome Sanger Institute, the University of Birmingham and the COVID-19 Genomics UK (COG-UK) Consortium+) that shows that the new variant has a transmission advantage of 0.4 to 0.7 in reproduction number compared to the previously observed strain.
The study also indicates that individuals under 20 years old make up a higher proportion of the Variant of Concern (VOC) cases than non-VOC cases. However, it is too early to determine the mechanism behind this change, according to the researchers. It may have been influenced by the variants spread coinciding with a period where lockdown was in force but schools were open. “Further research is ongoing on the specific nature of any changes in how the virus affects this age group,” wrote the Imperial College.