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Tokyo girl with no travel history to UK infected with new coronavirus variant

This electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Infectious Diseases shows a new strain of the novel coronavirus which originated in the U.K.

TOKYO -- A girl under the age of 10 living in Japan's capital has contracted a new strain of the coronavirus found in Britain, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare announced on Jan. 22.

    The girl has not been to the United Kingdom and has not had any contact with anyone who has been overseas. It is the first time for an infection of the new virus strain, which is believed to have occurred via community transmission, to be discovered in Tokyo.

    According to the health ministry, the girl was in close contact with a male Tokyo resident in his 40s who developed COVID-19 symptoms in mid-January. The girl herself showed no symptoms. The man in his 40s had not been to the U.K. either, and analysis of test samples are being carried forward. Meanwhile, there have reportedly been no other confirmed cases of infection with the new strain following the examination of around 1,500 test samples of individuals who had tested positive for the coronavirus in Tokyo.

    (Japanese original by Masahiro Sakai, Lifestyle and Medical News Department)

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