Novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 transmission electron microscope image of SARS-CoV-2 virus particles isolated from a patient. The image was captured and color enhanced at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland. Credit: National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH

Argentina has discovered its first case of a variant of coronavirus identified by the UK that appears to be more contagious, authorities said on Saturday.

The infection was discovered in a man who came to Argentina from the UK from the UK in late December with no symptoms of the disease.

The authorities “discovered the variant of SARS-CoV-2 from the United Kingdom in a traveler”, wrote Science Minister Roberto Salvarezza on Twitter and identified the strain as “VOC202012 / 01”.

Since it was first reported to the World Health Organization in mid-December, the variant identified by the UK has been found in dozen of countries.

It is believed that this strain is more easily transmitted due to a mutation in the spike protein, the part of the virus that attaches to human cells.

Argentina, which has a population of 44 million, has seen 1.78 million cases of COVID-19 and 45,227 deaths since March.

Last week, authorities warned of a spate of cases and banned nighttime activities and gatherings of more than 10 people.

Direct flights from the UK are prohibited.

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© 2021 AFP

Quote: Argentina detects the first case of a UK virus variant (2021, January 16), retrieved from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-01-argentina-case-british-virus-variant.html on January 17, 2021 has been

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