what we know about the British variant of the coronavirus cluster detected in Marseille

    what we know about the British variant of the coronavirus cluster detected in Marseille

    The prefecture of Bouches-du-Rhône announced on Sunday the discovery of an “extended family cluster” with the British variant of the coronavirus comprising 24 cases detected. According to the regional health agency Paca, “the initial family” has left. The case was discovered in Marseille.

    “Out of a total of 45 contact persons, 21 have tested positive and investigations are underway to limit the spread of this very contagious variant as much as possible”, indicates the prefecture.

    According to the Paca Regional Health Agency, this is a family of five French expatriates in Great Britain, who came to Marseille during the end of year holidays.

    The first person to have tested positive underwent an RT-PCR screening test on December 31, 2020. The Marseille University Hospital Institute has demonstrated that this was the variant of Covid-19 from the United Kingdom.

    The 23 other cases were all declared positive for Covid-19, without the presence of the British variant being confirmed. The samples were being sequenced on Saturday evening. “The initial family” has left, specifies the ARS Paca.

    A case detected in the city center of Marseille

    According to our information, this cluster would have been detected in the city center of Marseille. Two specialized teams of the Marins-Pompiers de Marseille are ready to intervene in the district concerned, if the health services request it.

    The first team, from the Mobile Cell for Biological Interventions, is able to perform 20 PCR tests in 20 minutes. The second (Covid-19 Marseille Environment Testing & Expertise) specializes in testing wastewater, a technique that can identify positive cases up to six days before the first signs.

    The mayor of Marseille, Benoît Payan also declared himself ready on Saturday evening “to send decontamination teams if necessary, as well as emergency medical units”.

    The mobile biological intervention unit of the Marins-Pompiers de Marseille engaged in the fight against Covid 19.

    © Gilles Bader / MaxPPP

    Detected in November in the UK, the B.1.1.7 variant, renamed VOC 202012/01, is believed to be 50% to 75% more contagious than the classic virus and has now been confirmed in dozens of countries.

    This announcement comes as the department has just passed an extended curfew at 6 p.m. from Sunday, as in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and Vaucluse.

    The health situation in the Bouches-du-Rhône department is particularly worrying, with an incidence rate that has been increasing for several days (225 per 100,000 inhabitants and 215 per 100,000 inhabitants among those over 65).

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