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The question an infectious diseases expert says must be asked about Delta variant detection

Neil Mitchell
Genomic testing in a lab

Health authorities this morning revealed another variant of COVID-19 has emerged in Victoria.

Genomic testing indicates two COVID-19 positive members of the West Melbourne family who travelled to Jervis Bay have the Delta variant.

The variant has not been detected in Australia outside of hotel quarantine, and is a different strain to the Kappa variant which other cases in the current Melbourne outbreak have.

It’s not clear if the other two members in the West Melbourne family have the Kappa variant, or if they have not been genomically tested.

Infectious diseases specialist at Sydney University, Professor Robert Booy, says the results must be questioned.

“You can imagined that a family who gets exposed once might get exposed a second time. Not routinely … but it’s possible,” he said.

“The other thing that needs to be looked at really carefully is has this genetic test been double and treble checked.

“Could there have been a mistake in the laboratory? A contamination event?

“The reliability of the test is very high, but it does need to be double checked.

“The best explanation is that something has gone wrong in the lab.”

Press PLAY below to hear more from Professor Booy

New variant detected: Family who travelled to NSW not linked to other Victorian COVID-19 cases

Neil Mitchell