Authorities in the western Japanese city of Kobe have announced the discovery of a local resident infected with a new mutated strain of coronavirus infection.
According to the city administration, a 50-year-old patient went to a medical facility on May 17 for mild abdominal pain. After a PCR test, the presence of coronavirus was confirmed. The sample was then tested for mutations and revealed the N501Y mutation, which is characteristic of the British strain, and the E484Q mutation.
It is specified that the infected man did not leave Japan, so the city authorities suspect that the mutation occurred directly in his body.
“According to information confirmed by the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, this case is the first time that a mutation of the British strain of coronavirus with the added E484Q mutation has occurred within the country,” the document says.
It also notes that the strain found in the city has a high rate of spread, as well as a strong risk of severe symptoms in infected citizens.
“We will immediately detect a new virus like this one and continue to take careful measures to prevent the spread of infection,” said Yasunori Kumagai, deputy director of the Kobe City Health Department.
Earlier, a strain of coronavirus was found in Vietnam that turned out to be a hybrid of the British and Indian variants.
Worldwide, 170,593,575 cases of coronavirus infection had been identified as of the morning of June 1.