First 2 Cases of Brazilian COVID-19 Variant Found in Israel

4 May, 2021   |   3 days ago

Jerusalem, 4 May, 2021 (TPS) -- The first two cases of the Brazilian Coronavirus (COVID-19) variant were identified in Israel, the Ministry of Health announced Monday.

Two Israelis returning from abroad, a baby and an adult who has been vaccinated against COCID-19, were found to be infected with the variant.

The Brazil variant of SARS-CoV-2, B.1.128.2, contains the E484K mutation. Research into the variants circulating in Brazil found mutations in the spike region of the virus that is used to enter and infect cells, changes that can make the virus more resistant to vaccines.

The first case of a Chilean variant was also identified, a vaccinated Israeli who had returned from abroad.

The cases were identified through random testing by the National Genome Sequencing Array.

Furthermore, 19 more cases of the Indian variant were discovered among foreigners coming to Israel. A total of 60 cases of the Indian variant have been discovered to date.

The Ministry of Health said that the implications of these new variants for vaccinated and recovering patients is yet unclear.

The Ministry of Health underscored the recommendation to the entire population, including the vaccinated, to avoid unnecessary travel abroad.

Israel’s health services have previously discovered cases of the New York variant, the California variant, as well as the UK, South African, and Los Angeles variants.