PARIS – French health authorities say they have detected the first confirmed case of the new Covid-19 variant on the country’s mainland.

The Ile-de-France Regional Health Agency said Thursday a man in his 50s who lives in the Paris city area tested positive for the Omicron variant after returning from a trip to Nigeria.

He showed no symptoms when he and his wife tested positive Nov. 25 on their return to France. The wife’s test is being screened for omicron. They have been quarantined at their home since the positive test.

Much remains unknown about the new variant, including whether it is more contagious, as some health authorities suspect, whether it makes people more seriously ill, and whether it can thwart vaccines.

A third person living in the same home with the couple was tested on Thursday to determine if they were infected and, if so, if they are carrying the new variant.

None of the three people are vaccinated, the statement said.

France reported its first Omicron case on Tuesday in the island territory of Reunion in the Indian Ocean. The patient was identified as a man who had returned to Reunion from South Africa and Mozambique on Nov. 20. (AP)