Travel: UK to ban flights from Brazil says expert
Brazil reported a new Covid variant earlier this month, sparking fears that the mutation could arrive in the UK. But experts have now warned that the coronavirus variant is already in circulation in the UK.
The variant was first detected in Brazil at the start of January, after it first arrived in Japan.
Four travellers tested positive for the infection after flying to Japan, and it was later traced back to Brazil.
The new variant has drawn similarities to the UK and South African mutations, which are believed to be more transmissible than the original coronavirus.
A scientist has now warned that the Brazilian Covid variant is already in the UK.
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Professor Wendy Barclay, from the G2P-UK National Virology Consortium, has explained that there were two mutations of the virus found in Brazil.
One of those mutations has already been recorded in the UK, she said.
“There are two different types of Brazilian variants and one of them has been detected and one of them has not.
“In the databases, if you search the sequences, you will see that there is some evidence for variants from around the world, and I believe including the Brazilian one, which probably was introduced some time ago.
“And that will be being traced very carefully.”
Earlier this week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson admitted that he was “concerned” about the new variant.
He said that plenty of questions still remain about the mutation, but that the UK was working on a solution.
The UK banned flights from South America and Portugal on Thursday evening, in a bid to stop the variant from circulating.
But, the virus has now already reportedly been identified in the UK.
Scientists are now researching the Brazilian Covid variant, to assess its transmissibility.
It has been compared to the first variant of the coronavirus, which was detected in the UK last month.
The UK variant is up to 70 percent more transmissible, meaning it’s significantly easier to spread the infection.
But there’s no suggestion – at the moment – that patients are more likely to develop complications or serious infections with the new variant.
Symptoms of the Brazilian variant are expected to be exactly the same as the original strain of coronavirus.
It’s therefore absolutely essential that you remain vigilant for any high fevers, new, continuous coughs, or a loss of taste or smell.
Some patients have also reported gastrointestinal symptoms of coronavirus, including diarrhoea and nausea.
If you think that you may have coronavirus, you should get tested as soon as possible, and self-isolate until you know that you’re negative.
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