FRIDAY, Feb. 12, 2021 (HealthDay Information) — A brand new variant of COVID-19 present in Southern California is coursing throughout the USA and world wide, a brand new examine finds.
The variant — known as CAL.20C — was first present in July in Los Angeles County. It reappeared in Southern California in October, then unfold in November and December, with a regional surge in coronavirus instances.
The variant now makes up almost half of COVID-19 instances in Southern California.
It isn’t clear whether or not CAL.20C is perhaps extra deadly than present coronavirus variants, or whether or not it would resist present vaccines. New analysis is underway Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles to assist reply these questions.
“New variants don’t all the time have an effect on the conduct of a virus within the physique,” stated examine co-author Dr. Eric Vail, an assistant professor of pathology on the Cedars-Sinai Heart for Bioinformatics and Useful Genomics.
The brand new variant has unfold to 19 states and the District of Columbia, as nicely six different international locations, in accordance with the report, revealed Feb. 11 within the Journal of the American Medical Affiliation.
As of Jan. 22, the variant had been present in Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Michigan, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming and Washington, D.C. It was additionally present in Australia, Denmark, Israel, New Zealand, Singapore and the UK, in accordance with the brand new examine.
Research co-author Jasmine Plummer stated folks touring from Southern California are carrying CAL.20C to different locations. Plummer is a analysis scientist on the Cedars-Sinai Heart for Bioinformatics and Useful Genomics in Los Angeles.
“CAL.20C is transferring, and we predict it’s Californians who’re transferring it,” Plummer stated in heart information launch.
Vail stated researchers are keenly fascinated with CAL.20C, as a result of it includes the so-called spike protein, which permits the SARS-CoV-2 virus to invade and infect regular cells.
For extra on COVID-19, go to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
SOURCE: Cedars-Sinai, Los Angeles, information launch, Feb. 11, 2021