A first case of the South African variant of the Covid-19 virus has been detected in France, announced the Ministry of Health. This variant is believed to be more transmissible to humans, like the one discovered in the United Kingdom.
A first case of contamination with the variant of the Covid-19 virus identified in South Africa has been detected in France, the Ministry of Health announced on December 31, a few days after the first confirmed case of the British variant.
This variant, which like that of the United Kingdom could be more transmissible, was confirmed on December 30 in a man returning from South Africa living in the Haut-Rhin, near the Swiss border.
A man returning from South Africa
On his return from a stay in South Africa, the man who had developed symptoms suggestive of Covid-19 performed an RT-PCR test in Switzerland.
As the test was positive, the virus was sequenced, confirming the variant called “501.V2”, identified in South Africa in October. This virus is responsible in this country for a large majority of new cases.
The person now healed, “immediately isolated himself at his home as soon as symptoms appeared” and “no risky contact was identified,” the ministry assured.
A first case of the variant identified in the United Kingdom in December had been confirmed in France on December 25, in Tours (Indre-et-Loire), on a Frenchman who arrived from London a few days earlier.
For the two variants, which could be more transmissible but not intrinsically more dangerous, the health authorities “are mobilized to identify as early as possible each infected patient to isolate them, isolate their contacts and test them, and thus prevent the spread of variants. of SARS-CoV-2 on the national territory ”, assured the ministry.
A variant that raises concerns
For each person returning from the United Kingdom or South Africa who would test positive for Covid-19, the samples must be sequenced to confirm the presence or not of a variant of the virus.
The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) this week warned of a “high” risk that these variants are a source of additional pressure on health systems and a cause of higher mortality due to their greater contagiousness.