COVID-19 Virus

WHO Warns New Covid Variants Are ‘Highly Problematic’ and Could Further Stress Hospitals

New, more contagious mutated variants of the coronavirus are “highly problematic” and could cause more cases and hospitalizations if the virus’ spread isn’t immediately suppressed, the head of the World Health Organization said on Monday.

The global health agency was alerted over the weekend of a new Covid-19 strain discovered in Japan, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a press briefing. On Sunday, Japan’s National Institute of Infectious Diseases said it discovered a new coronavirus variant in four travelers arriving from Brazil.

The variant appears to have some of the same mutations as other strains discovered in the United Kingdom and South Africa, the institute said. Those virus mutations, while highly infectious, don’t appear to make people more ill from the virus, health experts have said.

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