Austria: Brazilian variant detected for the first time

Austria: Brazilian variant detected for the first time
Photo: CHRISTOF STACHE / AFP
Authorities in the state of Salzburg have detected the Brazilian mutation of coronavirus, Austrian media reported on Monday.

It is the first time the variant – which is considered to be more infectious and possibly more lethal than known variants – has been detected in Austria. 

Genome sequencing carried out by Austria’s AGES medical agency confirmed that the case from late February was in fact one of the Brazilian mutation. 

Authorities are however confident that the variant has been contained and is not spreading throughout the community. 

Experts have also clarified that it is a different variant to that which has caused problems throughout Brazil. 

The P2 variant is that which has been detected in Austria, not the better known P1 variant. 

“This is not the Brazilian variant that is currently rampant in Manaus, which you hear and read about everywhere. It is simply a variant that also comes from Brazil and is therefore causing a stir,” an expert told Austria’s Kurier newspaper

The variant is still however believed to be dangerous – with a higher risk of reinfection than other known variants. 

“Even after an infection, there is still the possibility of getting infected again with this variant. In addition, it has not yet been sufficiently clarified how effective the various vaccines are in relation to these mutations,” Hans Georg Mustafa from the Salzburg laboratory medilab told Austria’s Kurier newspaper


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