The new strain of coronavirus sweeping Britain has been in Germany since November, health officials said Tuesday after discovering the variant in a patient who died in the north of the country.
The researchers were able to “sequence the variant of the B1.1.7 virus in a person infected in November this year,” said the Lower Saxony Ministry of Health in a statement on the new strain.
This is the same strain “responsible for a large part of the infections found in the south of England,” it said.
The variant was found in an elderly patient with underlying health conditions who has since passed away. His wife was also infected, but survived.
The couple contracted the virus after their daughter returned from a trip to the UK in mid-November, where she was “in all likelihood” infected with the new strain.
Teams from the Hannover Medical School (MHH) were able to identify the new strain after sequencing the genome.
The results were then confirmed by a team from the Berlin Charite Hospital, which also included the top German virologist Christian Drosten.
Germany had previously reported only one case of the new variety in a woman who had arrived from London on Thursday.
The UK raised the alarm earlier this month over the variant, which authorities say is significantly more contagious.
Concerns about the pollution have led many countries to suspend travel to and from the UK.
It has since been discovered in several other countries, including Portugal, France, Jordan, and South Korea.
Germany banned arrivals from the UK by land, sea and air until January 6th.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and posted from a syndicated feed.)