LONDON — Japan’s National Institute of Infectious Diseases on Sunday said it had detected a new variant of the coronavirus in four travelers arriving from Brazil.
The newly discovered mutant strain of Covid-19 was found to share some of the mutations in common with those of concern for increased infectivity, the institute said, referring to highly infectious variants recently discovered in the U.K. and South Africa.
However, at this time any information about the new variant is limited to its genetic makeup, the NIID said. The institute added it is difficult to immediately determine how infectious the new strain is and the effectiveness of vaccines against it.
The World Health Organization has been contacted by CNBC to confirm whether it has been informed about the new mutant strain of the virus. The United Nations health agency was not immediately available to respond on Monday morning.