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Brazil confirms two cases of UK variant of new coronavirus

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The variant of the novel coronavirus, originally detected in the UK, has found its way to Brazil. The information was confirmed Sunday (Jan. 4) by the State Health Secretariat of São Paulo after samples were analyzed at the Strategic Laboratory of Adolfo Lutz Institute.

Two cases have been confirmed in São Paulo. One of the people who tested positive is a 25-year-old woman living in São Paulo, who was infected after contact with travelers who had been in British territory. On December 20, she started showing symptoms like headache and a sore throat, cough, malaise, and loss of taste.

The other infected person is a 34-year-old man, and health agents are investigating where he lives and what symptoms he has exhibited.

According to the authorities, both cases stem from the B.1.1.7 lineage, the new strain which does not seem more lethal, but may be more transmissible.

Last Thursday, the Center for São Paulo’s Strategic Information in Health Surveillance was notified by laboratory Dasa of two suspected cases of a variant of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) in São Paulo state. The confirmation of the strain in two patients was possible through genetic sequencing carried out in partnership with the São Paulo University (USP) Medical School.

After the suspicion was confirmed by Dasa, the samples were sent to Adolfo Lutz Institute, which started the genetic analysis and sequencing in order to ascertain whether the new strain has really found its way to Brazil.

The sample sequencing conducted by Adolfo Lutz is reported to have proved more thorough than its UK counterpart and were stored in the online global database GISAID, the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data.

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