New Virus Strain Is in France, Too

The infected man, who'd just come home from London, shows no symptoms
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 26, 2020 2:30 PM CST
France Reports First Case of New Strain
A Eurostar Terminal sits empty Monday in Paris.   (AP Photo/Lewis Joly)

The first case of the new coronavirus strain discovered in Britain now has been confirmed in France. It was detected in a resident of Tours, a city in central France, who traveled home from London last Saturday, the BBC reports. The man, who was not identified, was treated at a hospital Monday before returning home. He isn't suffering any COVID-19 symptoms, health officials said. France had closed its border with Britain to try to keep the new strain out, but reopened Wednesday; anyone arriving has to produce a negative test, though. Other nations barred flights from Britain, as well. Positive tests there have jump in London, as well as regions east and southeast. About two-thirds of those tests, health officials say, could represent infections of the new strain.

Health officials say there's no proof that the new strain is more harmful, though, and manufacters say their new vaccines should work against it. In France, test results are pending on several other people who could have the new strain, officials said. And the infected man's contacts are being traced, per the AP. Other nations that have found cases of the new strain include Spain, Japan, Germany and Denmark, per the New York Times. The US has not reported any cases yet. But arrivals on flights from Britain will have to test negative within 72 hours of leaving, starting Monday. Other nations that have found the strain suspect it came with people traveling from Britain. (A study has found the new strain is 56% more transmissible than the other forms of the coronavirus.)

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