Covid-infected family who put NSW holiday spots on alert are revealed to have a terrifying new virus variant – as Victoria’s top doctor claims it could have been picked up across the border
A Melbourne family-of-four who travelled to New South Wales were infected with the new strain of the Indian Covid-19 virus, health authorities have revealed.
A man, his wife and two children had travelled to the Jervis Bay area on the state’s south coast at the end of May before testing positive.
Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said genomic testing found at least two of the family were infected with the highly-contagious Delta B16172 variant.
The family visited venues in Gundagai, Goulburn, Jervis Bay, Huskisson and Vincentia and were later diagnosed with Covid-19 after returning home.
Until Friday, authorities have sequenced the cases in the Victorian outbreak to the Kappa B16171 variant – which is thought to be less deadly than the Delta strain.
The Delta strain, which originated in India and is now the dominant strain in the UK with 12,431 cases, is thought to be just as infectious as Kappa.
The World Health Organisation on Tuesday said it was clear there were ‘greater public health risks’ associated with the Delta variant.
Professor Sutton said the fact Delta cases were unlinked to the rest of the outbreak meant contact tracers now had to scramble to trace the source of transmission.
More to come.