Photo Credit: courtesy, IMOD / IIBR
SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus as seen through microscope at Israel Institute of Biological Research (IIBR)

Global health officials have raised the alarm about a new, fourth COVID-19 mutation that has appeared in Brazil.

The new variant, B.1.1.248, which contains the mutation E484K that is also present in the South African B.1.351 (501Y.V2) lineage, was recently discovered by doctors during an exam of travelers who had returned to Japan from Brazil’s Amazon region.

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As far as is known so far, the Brazilian mutation is no more lethal than any other, but like the UK, South African and Nigerian variants that came before it, it is much more contagious that the original novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, multiple media report.

“We are concerned about the new Brazilian mutation,” said British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. “We will take all measures to protect this country from new infections arriving from abroad, and we will do the same with the Brazilian mutation.”

It’s not yet known how contagious, or deadly the new Brazilian variant might be.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.