New COVID-19 variant found in Mexico: it is present in 80% of cases and has increased transmission.

The INDRE’s Technological Development and Molecular Research Unit explained that the variant presents two important mutations.

MEXICO CITY (INDRE) – The Institute for Epidemiological Diagnosis and Reference reported that they had found a COVID-19 variant that has been identified most frequently in the country in recent weeks, a percentage of up to 80 percent.

At a press conference, José Ernesto Ramírez González, head of Indre’s Technological Development and Molecular Research Unit, explained that the variant, identified as B.1.1.222, has two important mutations, which could make it more transmissible.

“Its main impact is that it has increased its distribution. Eighty percent of the cases identified have this mutation. It surely has greater transmissibility,” Ramírez González mentioned. “They are important mutations, and we cannot leave them aside.”

Ramirez Gonzalez explained that the first detected cases of this variant date back to October 2020.

As weeks progressed, it was found that the variants that had been predominant in Mexico in the first year of the pandemic began to be displaced, in the genomic analyses, by this new variant.

Something similar happened with the variants first identified in countries like the United Kingdom, Brazil, and South Africa. “We noticed that they were increasing in their frequency of identification in these countries,” he said. “We are observing this effect in this variant that we are finding, that we are reporting at the moment.”

The official explained that it is not correct to call this new variant a “Mexican variant,” so it is not correct to call other variants by country names.

“It is not correct to call them Brazilian variants. They have a specific name. For the moment, it is not appropriate because it is not only circulating in our country. This lineage with this mutation has been found in Canada, in the United States…” he commented.