SP records first cases of the new coronavirus variant

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The new variant of the coronavirus, discovered in the United Kingdom, was identified in the state of São Paulo: the news, released this Monday (4) came from the Strategic Laboratory of the Adolfo Lutz Institute, which examined four patient samples, sent by the private laboratory Dasa in the last Saturday (2) – of these, two were discarded and two, confirmed by the São Paulo institution.

Examinations of the two patients (a 25-year-old woman who had contact with tourists who passed through the UK, and a 34-year-old man whose history of contamination is still being investigated) showed the strain B.1.1.7, whose mutation in spike protein (the “crown” of the virus that binds it to cells) made the disease 56% more contagious – there is no evidence that the virus has become more deadly or that it is resistant to the vaccines that are now being distributed.

The lineage has already been identified in 17 countries. According to a statement by the Adolfo Lutz Institute, “the sequences performed by Lutz were compared and proved to be more complete than the first one identified by the United Kingdom itself”. The researchers’ work is being shared with international scientists through an online and worldwide database.

Third lockdown

In the United Kingdom, the B.1.1.7 line already represents more than half of the new cases of covid-19 and, therefore, the British government has approved stricter restrictions to contain it. Announced this Monday, they will be valid from tomorrow.

The circulation of people for medical reasons, for the purchase of food and for the practice of physical exercises and face-to-face work is only authorized, when these are unavoidable.

According to scientist Ester Sabino, from the Institute of Tropical Medicine of the University of São Paulo (USP), in an interview with GloboNews, “given its high transmission power, the arrival of this variant reinforces the importance of quarantine and isolation for ten days, especially those who were in Europe “.

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