France: Breton #coronavirus variant of interest 20C/H655Y now under national surveillance

20C/H655Y, B.1.616, Breton Variant, Coronavirus, Europe, France, H655Y, Health, Mutation, N501Y, Science, Testing, Variants
The French Directorate General for Health (DGS) has reported to healthcare establishments and professionals the new course of action to be taken to monitor the 20C / H655Y variant of Covid-19 detected for the first time in Brittany between January and March 2021.

On Tuesday, the DGS sent a new protocol to ensure enhanced surveillance of cases of Sars-CoV-2 infection linked to the 20C / H655Y variant, several cases of which were identified in mid-March at the Lannion hospital center (Côtes-d’Armor). The last assessment given on Friday reported 13 confirmed cases (including one spotted in Ile-de-France) with 7 deaths.

The peculiarity of the confirmed cases is that the patients had symptoms suggestive of Covid-19 but an RT-PCR “weakly positive or even negative on the usual nasopharyngeal swabs”, recalls the DGS.

Currently, cases have been confirmed outside of Brittany but all remain linked to Lannion. However, “in the absence of data concerning a possible increased transmissibility of this virus and / or a greater frequency of severe forms, this variant is at this stage classified as a variant to follow (VOI, variant of interest )”, indicates the DGS.

SFMU.org report

Image by cecilemarcy from Pixabay