Japan likely records local transmission of UK COVID variant

Joanna Estrada
January 19, 2021

Japanese doctors have detected a fast-spreading variant of the new coronavirus first discovered in Britain in three people who had not travelled there, the Health Ministry said on Monday.

The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said it found the strain in four people, both male and female. "Developing a way to identify people who might be sick even before they know they are infected would really be a breakthrough in the management of COVID-19", Dr. Hirten said.

The source of the transmission is under review, the health ministry says, stating that "no widespread transmission has been confirmed".

This is the first time that people who have never been to Britain and whose infection routes are unclear were confirmed to be infected with the variant. They are now convalescing at home. The other patient, a woman in her 40s, had close contact with the woman in her 20s.

Shizuoka Gov. Heita Kawakatsu announced the warning at a news conference, saying that while the prefectural government still lacked information on the spread of the new variant, "it is necessary to take more thorough prevention measures and further strengthen measures for medical care provision".

While the virus strain found in the United Kingdom appears to be up to 70% more transmittable, it is said that there is no evidence it is more deadly or causes more serious sickness.

A similar study done by Stanford University found that participants wearing a variety of trackers from Garmin, Fitbit, Apple and others found that 81 percent of patients testing positive for coronavirus had changes in their resting heart rate up to nine and half days prior to the onset of symptoms.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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