FRIDAY, Feb. 12, 2021 (HealthDay News) — A brand new variant of COVID-19 present in Southern California is coursing throughout the United States and around the globe, a brand new research 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 instances.
The variant now makes up almost half of COVID-19 instances in Southern California.
It’s not clear whether or not CAL.20C may be 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 do not always affect the behavior of a virus in the body,” mentioned research co-author Dr. Eric Vail, an assistant professor of pathology on the Cedars-Sinai Center for Bioinformatics and Functional Genomics.
The new variant has unfold to 19 states and the District of Columbia, as properly six different international locations, in line with the report, revealed Feb. 11 within the Journal of the American Medical Association.
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 United Kingdom, in line with the brand new research.
Study co-author Jasmine Plummer mentioned folks touring from Southern California are carrying CAL.20C to different locations. Plummer is a analysis scientist on the Cedars-Sinai Center for Bioinformatics and Functional Genomics in Los Angeles.
“CAL.20C is moving, and we think it is Californians who are moving it,” Plummer mentioned in middle news launch.
Vail mentioned researchers are keenly serious about CAL.20C, as a result of it entails 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, news launch, Feb. 11, 2021