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Southern California Is Origin of New COVID-19 Variant

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FRIDAY, Feb. 12, 2021 (HealthDay Information) — A brand new variant of COVID-19 present in Southern California is coursing throughout america and around the globe, a brand new research 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 could 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 don’t at all times have an effect on the habits of a virus within the physique,” mentioned research 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 nations, in line 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 line with the brand new research.

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 Heart for Bioinformatics and Useful Genomics in Los Angeles.

“CAL.20C is shifting, and we predict it’s Californians who’re shifting it,” Plummer mentioned in middle information launch.

Vail mentioned researchers are keenly fascinated 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.


Extra data

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