FRIDAY, Feb. 12, 2021 (HealthDay Information) — A brand new variant of COVID-19 present in Southern California is coursing throughout the US and world wide, 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 practically half of COVID-19 instances in Southern California.

It isn’t 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 don’t all the time have an effect on the conduct 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 effectively six different international locations, in accordance 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 accordance 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 transferring, and we expect it’s Californians who’re transferring it,” Plummer mentioned in heart information launch.

Vail mentioned researchers are keenly involved in 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.


Extra info

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