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1st COVID-19 mutation case confirmed in China, Chinese health organization reports

Kaylee Greenlee, DCNF

The first case of the new COVID-19 variant has been reported in China by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, an independent national agency in Beijing, China, according to Reuters.

A 23-year-old female student tested positive for the variant strain upon her arrival from Britain in Shanghai on Dec. 14, according to China CDC Weekly on Wednesday, Reuters reported Thursday.

The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, which is not affiliated with the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, publishes a weekly newsletter containing “authoritative professional information” about national public health concerns, according to Publon.

The positive case “poses a great potential threat to the prevention and control of COVID-19 in China,” the publication said, Reuters reported.

The new variant is 40-70% more transmissible than the original strain of COVID-19, scientists said, Reuters reported.

The variant, labeled “VUI202012/01,” was found by researchers who ran gene-sequencing on a sample from the infected female student. The variant contains a mutation that could allow the virus to spread more easily from person to person.

The female student was transferred to quarantine at a designated medical facility and an investigation into her close associates has begun, Reuters reported.

Several countries including China have suspended travel to and from Britain to try and contain the new variant, Reuters reported. Direct flights between Britain and China have been suspended indefinitely, according to a spokesperson from the foreign ministry.

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