Variant Detected In South Africa Now In The US
Two adults in South Carolina, who aren't connected to one another and hadn't traveled to South Africa, were identified as having the more contagious strain of coronavirus.
The Wall Street Journal:
South Africa Coronavirus Variant Detected In U.S.
Health authorities in South Carolina said Thursday they have identified two people who were infected with a coronavirus variant that was first detected in South Africa and could evade some treatments. The two adults haven’t traveled to South Africa and aren’t connected to one another, authorities said, suggesting that the variant, known as B.1.351, is potentially circulating in the community. (McKay and Hernandez, 1/28)
South Carolina Reports 1st Known U.S. Cases Of Variant From South Africa
Health officials have identified the first U.S. cases of the coronavirus variant that was initially detected in South Africa. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the variant, known as B 1.351, has been found in South Carolina. "CDC is early in its efforts to understand this variant and will continue to provide updates as we learn more," the agency said. "At this time, we have no evidence that infections by this variant cause more severe disease. Like the U.K. and Brazilian variants, preliminary data suggests this variant may spread more easily and quickly than other variants." (Chappell, 1/28)
In related news —
COVID-19 Cases Drop, But Variants Point To Dangers Ahead
The number of Americans testing positive for the coronavirus has dropped substantially from an early January zenith, easing the strain on hospitals across the nation that faced danger over the winter holidays. But new and more transmissible strains of the coronavirus are circulating more widely across the world, and public health experts caution that, even with the beginnings of mass vaccination programs, the public must be more vigilant than ever in protecting themselves and reducing the spread. (Wilson, 1/28)
Fauci Warns COVID-19 Situation 'Potentially Could Get Worse' Given New Variants
Anthony Fauci warned Thursday that the coronavirus situation in the United States “potentially could get worse,” despite recent improvements, citing the threat from new, more contagious variants of the virus. “I think it potentially could get worse,” Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” (Sullivan, 1/28)