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 examine 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 is 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 don’t at all times have an effect on the conduct of a virus within the physique,” stated 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 effectively six different nations, 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 examine.

Examine co-author Jasmine Plummer stated 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 stated in heart information launch.

Vail stated researchers are keenly excited about 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