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

The variant now makes up practically half of COVID-19 circumstances in Southern California.

It is not clear whether or not CAL.20C is likely to 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 habits of a virus within the physique,” mentioned research 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 international locations, based on 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, based on 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 Middle for Bioinformatics and Practical Genomics in Los Angeles.

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

Vail mentioned researchers are keenly fascinated with CAL.20C, as a result of it includes 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