The COVID-19 variant first detected in South Africa has been found in Canada, health officials confirmed.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, reported that Canada’s first case of the virus mutation had been detected in the province on Friday.
The infected individual is a “recent traveller,” Hinshaw announced on Twitter. She added that there is currently no evidence to suggest that the variant has spread to others.
Alberta has detected its first case of the South African variant of COVID-19. This case involved a recent traveller. The individual is in quarantine & there’s no evidence at this time that the virus has spread to others. (1/2)
— Dr. Deena Hinshaw (@CMOH_Alberta) January 8, 2021
“I know any new case is concerning, but we are actively monitoring for these variants & working to protect the public’s health,” Hinshaw tweeted.
While this is the first case of the South African variant detected in Canada, to date there have been 14 confirmed cases of the UK variant in the country.
Data suggests that the COVID-19 UK variant can be transmitted faster than the initial strain of the virus. However, there is no evidence to suggest that the mutation causes more severe illness or that vaccines will be any less effective against it.
“Please continue to follow public health restrictions this weekend,” Hinshaw said.
“Every action we take matters in reducing the spread of COVID-19 and helping to keep each other safe.”