An Israeli who has recovered from coronavirus was found Sunday to have been reinfected with the pathogen's South African variant, the first such case in Israel.
The 57-year-old man from central Israel, who recovered from coronavirus in August, recently returned from a trip to Turkey and is the second Israeli to be officially diagnosed with the mutation after visiting that country.
The other cases were diagnosed among people who returned from South Africa, Ethiopia and the United Arab Emirates.
Health officials worry the variant - along with the British and Californian mutation (which are considered far more infectious) - could infect people who had already recovered from the disease and are not vaccinated.
"The sheer fact that we have diagnosed a reinfection with the South African variant for the first time is very disturbing," a health official said.
According to the Health Ministry, 30 cases of the South African variant have so far been diagnosed in Israel, though officials estimate that the real number is far greater.
On Jan. 9, the Health Ministry discovered the first four cases of the mutation in Israel out of 15 random samples sent for diagnosis.
Pfizer announced last week that the vaccine it developed with its German partner BioNTech is able to protect against both the British and South African variants.