Western Europe

Italian doctors discover coronavirus strain similar to British one

23:46, 28 December 2020
Italian doctors discover coronavirus strain similar to British one Photo: pixabay.com

Italian doctors have discovered a new mutation of the coronavirus, similar to the recently identified UK strain. According to the specialists, the Italian COVID-19 has existed in the Apennines since August 2020.


A coronavirus variation, which is very similar to its infamous English version, has been spreading in Italy since early August, said Arnaldo Caruso, the head of the Italian Society for Virology.

He noted that doctors discovered the new mutation by accident. They observed a patient who contracted the coronavirus in April and became interested in his tests. The patient again tested positive in August. They did several retests, which repeatedly showed the presence of COVID-19.

Experts tried to determine why the patient became infected again and studied the taken biomaterial in the laboratory, La Repubblica reported.

To our surprise, we found a new variant of the coronavirus, similar to the English strain, but not identical to it, Caruso noted.

A new type of coronavirus was discovered in the UK in September. The mutation has also been identified in the Netherlands, Australia, Denmark, Italy, and South Africa. There is no evidence yet as to whether the virus originated in the UK or was imported. The WHO was quick to assure that the coronavirus's new mutation does not pose a greater danger to humans but may be more infectious. After the mutation reports, about 20 countries have suspended flights with the UK.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the increase in the number of coronavirus cases in the UK is associated with the new strain of the virus, which is 70% more infectious.

The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) has conducted a study proving that antibodies remain for more than six months in the blood of those who have had coronavirus, NEWS.ru reported earlier.