France has detected its first case of the mutant coronavirus strain in a man who recently arrived back in the country from the U.K., numerous sources reported.
The Frenchman who tested positive for the new, more contagious strain of coronavirus reportedly returned to France from London on Dec. 19. The case was found in the city of Tours, located roughly 145 miles southwest of Paris in central France, Reuters reported.
???? Le variant du SARS-CoV-2 découvert au Royaume-Uni a été recensé en France. Il s’agit d’un Français résidant en Angleterre, pris en charge au CHU de Tours après son retour de Londres le 19 décembre. Il “est isolé à son domicile et se porte bien”. pic.twitter.com/GytPDsVAbT
— Nicolas Berrod (@nicolasberrod) December 25, 2020
The French Health Ministry said that the individual is a French citizen living in Britain, and is self-isolating at his home in Tours after testing positive in a hospital Dec. 21. Health officials are reportedly contact tracing to determine who the man may have exposed.
British scientists have confirmed that the mutant strain is more contagious than previous strains, and is up to 71% more transmissible. The U.K. variant is very similar to previous strains and the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will be effective against it, University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation affiliate assistant professor Vin Gupta told CNBC.
The U.S.’s lead infectious disease expert and White House Coronavirus Task Force member Dr. Anthony Fauci has said that he assumed the U.K’s strain is already in the U.S. because of international travel between the two countries. More than 40 countries have closed off travel to British travelers in an effort to prevent the strain from spreading.
Although the U.S. has not halted travel with the U.K., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Thursday that President Donald Trump would sign an executive order requiring a negative coronavirus test from individuals traveling from the U.K. into the U.S. (RELATED: Trump To Sign Order Requiring Negative Coronavirus Test For UK Travelers, CDC Says)
The order will become effective Dec. 28.