New variant of coronavirus from South Africa detected in US for 1st time

New variant of coronavirus from South Africa detected in US for 1st time
This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which cause COVID-19. Source: AP
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Daily US Times: A new variant of the coronavirus emerged Thursday in the US, posing yet another public health challenge in a country already losing more than 3,000 people to the pandemic every day.

The mutated version of the virus was first identified in South Africa and the new variant was found in two cases in South Carolina. Public health officials said it is almost certain that there are more infections that have not been identified yet. They are also concerned that this variant of the virus spreads more easily and that vaccines could be less effective against it.

The two cases were discovered in adults in different regions in South California and do not appear to be connected. Neither of the people infected by the version has traveled recently, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control said Thursday.

Dr. Krutika Kuppalli, an infectious diseases physician at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, said: “That’s frightening, because it means there could be more undetected cases within the state. It’s probably more widespread.”

South Carolina’s interim public health director Dr. Brannon Traxler said in a statement: ‘The arrival of the variant shows that “the fight against this deadly virus is far from over.’

“While more Covid-19 vaccines are on the way, supplies are still limited. Every one of us must recommit to the fight by recognizing that we are all on the front lines now. We are all in this together.”

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