Highly infectious COVID-19 strain found in Alberta

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CALGARY – A different strain of the COVID-19 virus originating in South Africa has been discovered in Alberta, the province’s senior doctor said on Friday.
Dr Deena Hinshaw made the announcement on social media, saying the case was found in someone who had recently traveled.

So far, it is believed to be the only such case in Canada and she says the patient is isolating himself from others.

“The individual is in quarantine and there is no evidence at this time that the virus has spread to others,” she said.

Nonetheless, she says the presence of the case in Alberta is of concern to health officials.

“We are actively monitoring these variants (and) working to protect public health. ”

Hinshaw added that Alberta’s current health measures are equally effective in preventing the spread of the variant.

It is not known exactly where the case was detected in the province.

At the end of last year, South Africa’s health department said a new genetic mutation in the coronavirus had been discovered in the country and was linked to a recent increase in cases in that country.

Experts suggest the variant is around 70% more infectious than the common strain of COVID-19.

(With files from Reuters)



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