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    Costa Rica is Still Free of COVID-19 Variants Detected in the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil

    Affirmed the Costa Rican Institute for Research and Education in Nutrition and Health (Inciensa)

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    The most recent sequencing of complete SARS-CoV-2 genomes, prepared by the Costa Rican Institute for Research and Education in Nutrition and Health (Inciensa), ruled out the presence in the country of virus variants from the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil.

    In January, a new strain of coronavirus was discovered in England and described by experts as “more contagious”, forcing the European country to tighten measures and lead to a total lockdown.

    For its part, in late 2020, the South African Genomic Surveillance Network identified a new variant of SARS-CoV-2, which is “spreading rapidly.” The South African government even decided to suspend the application of the Oxford and AstraZeneca vaccine after a study showed very limited efficacy against this strain.

    Meanwhile, on January 2, four Japanese travelers, two adults and two children, returned to their country after an expedition through the Brazilian Amazon and subsequent analyzes led to the identification of a new variant in tourists known as the “Amazon strain” .

    California strain

    Despite the fact that none of these strains were found in the country, Inciensa detected two genomes similar to the GH / 452R.V1 variant, originally identified in California, United States, for which they were notified to the National Liaison Center for International Health Regulations ( CNE / RSI) of the Ministry of Health.

    “In the country, from March to date, a total of 233 SARS-CoV-2 genomes have been analyzed from the genomic and epidemiological point of view and come from patients residing in all the provinces. In terms of mutations and the phylogeny of the virus, each genome was found to have at least 3 to 33 mutations, when compared with the reference Wuhan-Hu-1 genome”, the Institute said in a press release.

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