(NEXSTAR) – Another variant of COVID-19 virus found in Japan, the World Health Organization announced on Monday
The new version was found in four passengers arriving in Japan from Brazil, according to Japanese health officials.
Officials said the variant had some common mutations with strain B117, first discovered in the UK, and was said to be 70% more contagious than the new COVID-19 virus. This option has even traveled to the United States (as seen in the video below).
The newly discovered option does not appear to increase the severity of the infection, the WHO said.
Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are likely to protect against a strain found in Japan, as coronavirus vaccine designers predicted the virus would mutate and “include different predictions of viral strains”
“These changes in viral composition are expected,” Nolan said. “At the moment, we have not noticed any dramatic genetic changes that would cause concern.
The Japanese variant is the third such mutation found worldwide. New strains of COVID have also been found in the UK and South Africa and have since spread around the world.
According to WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the more the virus spreads, the more likely new variants will emerge.
“This can lead to an influx of cases and hospitalizations, which is extremely problematic for health workers and hospitals, which are already close to the breaking point.
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