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 — referred to 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 circumstances.
The variant now makes up practically half of COVID-19 circumstances in Southern California.
It isn’t clear whether or not CAL.20C could be extra deadly than present coronavirus variants, or whether or not it’d 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,” mentioned examine co-author Dr. Eric Vail, an assistant professor of pathology on the Cedars-Sinai Middle for Bioinformatics and Practical Genomics.
The brand new variant has unfold to 19 states and the District of Columbia, as nicely six different nations, in keeping with the report, printed 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 keeping with the brand new examine.
Research co-author Jasmine Plummer mentioned individuals touring from Southern California are carrying CAL.20C to different locations. Plummer is a analysis scientist on the Cedars-Sinai Middle for Bioinformatics and Practical Genomics in Los Angeles.
“CAL.20C is transferring, and we predict it’s Californians who’re transferring it,” Plummer mentioned in middle information launch.
Vail mentioned researchers are keenly enthusiastic about CAL.20C, as a result of it entails the so-called spike protein, which allows 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