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Covid-19: first case detected in France of the South African variant

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.

A person today healed

This variant, which like that of the United Kingdom could be more transmissible, was confirmed the day before in a man returning from South Africa living in the Haut-Rhin, near the Swiss border. 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. The test having been positive, a sequencing of the virus was carried out, confirming the variant called “501.V2”, identified in South Africa in October and which is responsible in this country for a large majority of new cases. The person now healed, “immediately isolated herself at home as soon as symptoms appeared“and”no risk contact has been identified“, assured the ministry.

Samples to determine the nature of the virus

A first case of the variant identified in the United Kingdom in December had been confirmed in France on December 25, in Tours, on a Frenchman who had arrived from London a few days earlier. For the two variants, which could be more transmissible but not inherently more dangerous, the health authorities “are mobilized to identify each infected patient as early as possible in order to isolate them, isolate their contacts and test them, and thus prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2 variants on the national territory“, assured the ministry.

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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 strain on health systems and a cause of higher mortality due to their greater contagiousness.

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