Israel’s Health Ministry stated on Tuesday that it has discovered three cases of the New York coronavirus variant in Israel.
Health Ministry officials believe that the three carriers, members of the same family, were in contact with someone who recently returned to Israel from New York. The family members, who live in Jerusalem, are reportedly not cooperating with the Health Ministry’s epidemiological investigators, but according to information officials received from a third party, it’s possible that others were infected as well and the variant is already silently spreading in Israel.
The New York variant includes the same mutation as the South African variant, the E484K mutation, which is more resistant again the vaccine than the original coronavirus, is more contagious and may possibly be more deadly.
Israeli health officials are concerned that those who have recovered from the coronavirus can be reinfected with the New York variant. Also, although the variant is not likely to be entirely resistant to the existing coronavirus vaccines, it may reduce the effectiveness of the vaccines.
In addition, the ministry reported that they have also identified two cases of the B.1.525 variant, which has similar traits to the South African variant. The mutation also originated in Africa and has been discovered in Nigeria, Jordan, the US, and the UK.
There are also fears that the Brazilian variant can also reinfect recovered coronavirus patients, with preliminary results of an international study showing that the variant may reinfect 25-61% of recovered virus patients.
There are also close to 500 cases of the South African virus variant in Israel, and last week, the first case of the Los Angeles variant was discovered in an Israeli who hadn’t been in California or in contact with someone who traveled abroad.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)