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Canada's first case of virus variant discovered in Brazil detected

It has already been spotted in Europe, as well as Colombia and the United States.

FILE: A lab technician sorts blood samples inside a lab for a COVID-19 vaccine study. Picture: AFP.

MONTREAL - Health authorities in Toronto announced Sunday that a resident had been diagnosed with the Brazilian variant of COVID-19, marking Canada's first known case of the mutated virus.

The patient has been hospitalised, Toronto Public Health (TPH) said in a statement. He had recently traveled from Brazil.

TPH also said it had found the first case of the South African coronavirus variant in Canada's largest city, though the variant had previously been detected elsewhere in the country.

"Scientists and medical professionals are concerned that these variants are more transmissible than the original coronavirus," TPH said.

The resident with the South African variant had no recent travel history and no known contact with any recently returned travelers, TPH added.

The Brazilian variant has been blamed for a disastrous surge in infections in the Brazilian city of Manaus.

It has already been spotted in Europe, as well as Colombia and the United States.

Toronto health authorities have now detected 27 confirmed "variant of concern" cases in the city of about 3 million people.

Canada, with a population of more than 38 million, has recorded more than 800,000 coronavirus cases and more than 20,000 deaths.

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