South African coronavirus variant detected in second Austrian state

South African coronavirus variant detected in second Austrian state
Two cases of the South African coronavirus mutation B.1.351 were confirmed in the state of Styria at a military base. Photo: JOE KLAMAR / AFP
Two cases of the South African coronavirus mutation B.1.351 were confirmed in the state of Styria on Tuesday.

A soldier from Schwaz in Tyrol, the source of the original outbreak of the virus , returned to the Upper Styrian barracks from home leave in mid-January. 

He and another soldier had symptoms on January 25th and tested positive. The sequencing of these two tests now showed that it is the B.1.351 mutation of the coronavirus, according to the armed forces.

Immediately afterwards, a total of nine people from the barracks tested positive for the coronavirus, of whom three had been in contact with the pair who were originally infected.

Six other soldiers had been infected from another source, Gerhard Schweiger of the Styrian military command told ORF

The sequencing of these tests is not yet complete, so there may be more cases of mutation detected. Further results are expected in the next few days. 

Austria imposes statewide isolation order in Tyrol due to coronavirus variant 

Following quarantine, the solder from Tyrol was tested again on 3rd February at which point the virus was no longer detectable, and he is now back on duty. The second soldier is still showing as infected and is in quarantine. 

The military command said all infected persons at the Aigen site were in the management team. 

With the exception of one infected person, all have so far either been symptom-free or have only had a mild course.

On Tuesday, all 300 people stationed in Aigen im Ennstal were given PCR tests, according to the armed forces.


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