Spain detects its first case of South African Covid-19 variant

Spain detects its first case of South African Covid-19 variant
Scientist examines Covid-19 sample under a microscope. Photo: AFP
Health officials confirmed that what is thought to be the first case of the South African variant of the coronavirus has been detected in Spain.

The case was confirmed by Galician health authorities in a man who had recently returned to Spain from a work trip to South Africa.

The Covid-19 mutation is actually identified as 501.V2 but it is known more commonly as the South Africa variant because it was first detected in Mandela Bay.

There is no evidence to suggest that new variants causes much more serious illness for the vast majority of people who become infected but there are concerns that, like the British variant, it can spread more rapidly.

The South Africa variant has been found in at least 30 other countries including 16 across Europe while the British strain has been detected in 70 countries worldwide.

Spanish health authorities have already detected 300 confirmed cases of the British variant and suggested that it could become the dominant strain across Spain by March.

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