Brazil detects new variant of coronavirus

Mutations are constant within viruses and occur when the genetic makeup changes during replication.

UAnother variant of the coronavirus has been discovered in Brazil, health authorities said on Wednesday. Scientists have identified it in the city of Sorocaba, near Sao Paulo, and are conducting further research into the mutation, which is similar to the one detected in South Africa, the Butantan Biomedical Institute said on Twitter.

The variant was detected in a 34-year-old woman who had minor symptoms, reports the G1 news site. She said she has not recently traveled inside or outside Brazil, according to Paulo Menezes, director of the Sao Paulo coronavirus emergency center.

Mutations are constant within viruses and occur when the genetic makeup changes during replication.

Some modifications have advantages for the pathogen. For example, they can facilitate the transmission of the virus.

Previous notable variants of the coronavirus were first detected in Britain, South Africa and Brazil.

Brazil heavily affected

This South American country is one of the hardest hit by the pandemic. Only the United States has recorded a higher number of infections and deaths.

Brazil has steadily broken its own daily record for coronavirus deaths. On Wednesday, the health ministry announced a new record of 3,869 deaths in 24 hours, breaking the record of 3,780 set the day before.

A week earlier, the country had crossed for the first time the sad milestone of 3,000 deaths linked to Covid-19.

The total number of deaths in the country now stands at 321,515, while more than 12.7 million cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed.

The health system in this country of 210 million people has collapsed or is on the verge of collapse in many areas. Medicines, in particular for the intubation of patients with Covid-19, are in particular running out.

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