Covid-19: when and how are new variants detected?

DECRYPTION – Two large families of techniques are used to determine whether one is infected with an English, South African, Brazilian variant or by the traditional strain.

For the patient with Covid, it does not matter whether they are affected by one or the other medically variant. “There is no impact on medical care”, assures Bruno Coignard, director of the infectious diseases pole at Public Health France. On the other hand, people affected by the variants will be better monitored and will have to isolate themselves for longer, two weeks instead of one to try to limit the spread of these strains, a priori much more contagious.

The Ministry of Health on Friday asked the biological analysis laboratories to react in less than 36 hours in the event of detection of one of these variants in order to warn the patient and his attending physician as quickly as possible. Medicare must ensure that the tracing will be tighter for these patients.

But when and how can these variants be detected? “The best method to find the English, South African and Brazilian variants is sequencing. And the most

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