Japan Discovers New Coronavirus Variant: News Update

The variant, which the country’s health department said appears to possess originated overseas, has infected nearly 100 people. 

Reuters reported that Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato told reporters that 91 infections were documented within the Kanto area of eastern Japan and two other cases were discovered at airports.

"It could also be more contagious than conventional strains, and if it continues to spread domestically, it could lead on to a rapid rise in cases," Kato said.

The variant features a mutation on the spike protein that would lower the efficacy of vaccines.

The National Institute of Infectious Diseases said that the variant appears to possess originated overseas, but it's different from other variants circulating in Britain, South Africa and Brazil.

Japan has over 422,000 cases of the virus and seven ,360 deaths, consistent with data from Johns Hopkins University.

The country's health ministry reports Japan has reported 150 cases of the opposite variants first found in Britain, South Africa and Brazilian travelers.

[ MAP: The Spread of Coronavirus ]

The variants have complicated the outbreak's outlook, speculatively that the highly infectious strain first documented within the U.K. could become the dominant one within the U.S. in March.

Experts have said it's now a race to urge as many of us vaccinated as possible to assist control the spread of the variants.


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