It was only a matter of time before the coronavirus variant discovered in Great Britain arrives in Germany. It has now been proven in a woman who traveled from Great Britain to Baden-Württemberg.
The variant of the coronavirus that appeared in Great Britain has also been detected in Germany for the first time. The mutated variant B.1.1.7 was found on Thursday in a woman who entered Baden-Württemberg from Great Britain on December 20. This was announced by the Ministry of Health in Stuttgart. The woman has mild symptoms and is in isolation at home. Three close contacts are also in quarantine.
The woman had flown from London Heathrow to Frankfurt am Main to visit relatives in the Freudenstadt district. "A quick test of all passengers for Sars-CoV-2 was carried out at the airport upon entry, which was positive for the person concerned," said a ministry spokesman. She was then picked up by relatives in a car. "To confirm the diagnosis, a PCR test was carried out on December 21, 2020, which was also positive." The close contact persons have not yet been ill. A smear test of the contact persons was initiated.
The new variant of the coronavirus may be significantly more contagious than the previously known form. After the mutation became known, most EU states decided to largely restrict travel to and from Great Britain in order to prevent it from spreading. So far, 33 cases of the new variant have been detected in Denmark. She has now also performed in the Netherlands.
The Berlin virologist Christian Drosten had already stated on Tuesday that it was quite likely that B.1.1.7 was now also in Germany. With the current restrictions in lockdown, "this variant is likely to gain a foothold in this country," said Drosten. “I don't think we'll have a bigger problem there anytime soon.” So far, there has been no evidence that the new variant has any effect on the severity of the disease.
Uğur Şahini, the boss of the vaccine manufacturer BionTech, said on Tuesday that his preparation is very likely to work against the new variant.