A doctor holds the hand of a patient in the intensive care unit of the Luisen hospital in Aachen, Germany on December 26, 2020. (Henning Kaiser/dpa Via AP)
In an elderly patient with underlying health problems who has since died, the variant was identified. His wife was poisoned as well, but she survived.
Since November, health officials said Tuesday, the latest coronavirus strain sweeping Britain has been in Germany, after finding the variant in a patient who died in the north of the country.
The Lower Saxony Ministry of Health reported in a statement referring to the new strain that researchers were “able to sequence the variant of the B1.1.7 virus in a person infected in November this year”
This is the same strain, it said, “responsible for a large proportion of the infections detected in the south of England,” In an elderly patient with underlying health problems who has since died, the variant was identified. His wife was poisoned as well, but she survived.
After their daughter returned from a trip to Britain in mid-November, the couple contracted the virus, where she “in all likelihood” became infected with the new strain, the statement said. After sequencing the genome, teams from the Hannover Medical School (MHH) were able to identify the new strain.
A team at Berlin’s Charite hospital, which included top German virologist Christian Drosten, then confirmed the findings. Just one case of the new strain had been identified by Germany previously, in a woman who flew in from London on Thursday.
Earlier this month, Britain sounded the alarm about the variant, which officials believe is significantly more infectious. Concerns about the burden have forced many nations to suspend travel to and from Great Britain. In many other nations, including Portugal, France, Jordan, and South Korea, it has since been identified.
Until January 6, Germany banned arrivals from the UK by road, sea, and air.