South African COVID variant: The highly contagious coronavirus variant has been detected in a family that recently travelled from South Africa to the southern state of Baden-Württemberg said the Social Affairs Ministry.
All of the family members had reportedly tested negative for the coronavirus five days after arrival reported DW news.
However, a week later, several family members began showing mild symptoms. Six people from three households are now confirmed to have been infected with coronavirus, and one infection is of the South African COVID variant.
Samples from the other family members are now being tested to determine if the South African variant is present, the ministry said.
What is the new UK/South African COVID variant?
The South African variant, and another originating in the United Kingdom, appear to be more transmissible than the original virus, we wrote about them here>>.
It has also been been detected in the UK, Finland, France and Israel. Switzerland, Denmark and the UK have banned incoming travellers from South Africa.
Although health experts do not yet consider the mutated coronavirus to be more dangerous, its accelerated spread presents a greater challenge to public health officials, who are racing to vaccinate populations.
The UK variant has already been detected in Germany. Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned that the UK variant could “take the lead over the old virus” in a very short amount of time, adding that there is a danger of exponential growth of cases.
“That’s why we need to be extremely careful,” Merkel said.
Source: Afronews.de, DW