The coronavirus variant first discovered in the UK may have been in Germany since November, Reuters reported Monday.

Doctors discovered the strain in samples from a deceased patient, German paper Die Welt reported. The person whose samples contained the variant had medical preconditions, specialists from the Hannover Medical School determined, according to Reuters.

The German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg reported the first confirmed case of the variant in the country Dec. 24. The person flew from London Heathrow to Frankfurt Dec. 20 and tested positive upon arrival, according to Reuters. Three people who came in contact with the infected person were quarantined. (RELATED: REPORT: Germany, Singapore Report First Cases Of New UK COVID-19 Mutation)

A group of scientists in Britain told reporters Dec. 21 the strain could carry a mutation that could make children more susceptible to contracting it.

“We now have high confidence that this variant does have a transmission advantage over other virus variants that are currently in the UK,” Peter Horby, professor of emerging infectious diseases at Oxford University told reporters, according to Reuters.

Yet Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN the new strain doesn’t appear to make people more ill, adding that viruses frequently mutate.

“Obviously, this is something we always take seriously and it’s concerning whenever you get a mutation, but I think the American public needs to remember and realize that these are RNA viruses and continually mutating all the time. Most of the time the mutations don’t have a functional significance,” Fauci said.

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