New COVID-19 Variant Detected in French Region of Brittany

A new COVID-19 variant called the “Breton variant”  has been discovered in the French region of Brittany.

The French Ministry of Health said that the variant was detected in 8 patients in a hospital in the regional town of Lannion.

The General Directorate of Health reported that the patients’ polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests turned up negative and were only confirmed with blood and respiratory samples.

Initial analysis has shown that it was not more severe than the original form of the virus but scientists were worried because PCR tests did not detect it. 

The ministry said that that “evaluations were ongoing” to see if there was a “problem of recognition” with the strain or their tests. 

Because the variant has not been thoroughly studied, the Breton variant has been classified in a secondary category.

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