A new variant of the coronavirus has been discovered in the Bay Area of California.
A health care spokesperson for Stanford University said on Sunday that the Stanford University Clinical Virology Laboratory has identified and confirmed an emerging variant originating from India through genome sequencing. At least seven presumed cases of Indian variants have also been discovered.
According to the report, the variant is labeled as a “double mutant” because it carries two mutations in the virus that help it lock in the cell.
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According to FOX 2 in the San Francisco Bay Area, Dr. Ben Pinsky, director of the Stanford University Clinical Virology Laboratory, said: “If you sit in an elevator with a person who has the virus, you are more likely to be infected by the virus.”
Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, an infectious disease expert at UCSF, calls this variant “less forgiving.”
He pointed out that the variant may be more contagious because it accounts for 20% of cases in the hard-hit Indian state of Maharashtra. He said the number of cases there has increased by 50% in the past week.
He told the San Francisco Chronicle: “From a biological point of view, because these two mutations act on the receptor binding domain of the virus, they have a higher spread, but so far there is no official transmission study. “
Chin-Hong added that it is too early to know whether this variant is now. This variant was first discovered this year by Indian health officials, whether it will cause re-infection or more resistant to vaccine antibodies. One of the mutations is similar to the one first discovered in California. Another mutation was found in a variant first discovered in Brazil and South Africa.
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Chin-Hong said: “This Indian variant contains two mutations in the same virus for the first time, previously seen in separate variants.” “Because we know that the affected domain is the part where the virus enters the human body, and California The variants are already more resistant to certain vaccine antibodies, so there seems to be reason to think that the Indian variant might be that too.”
Although Chin-Hong said that research has not confirmed this, he believes that “optimistic” vaccination can work based on known efficacy against variants originating in South Africa and California. Chin-Hong added that the British variant B.1.1.7 is more communicable.
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“I am deeply convinced that based on the information we have about some even frightening variants, such as the variant in South Africa, and how Pfizer’s vaccine is produced, I believe that this vaccine will still affect this new India. The variant works. Chin-Hong told FOX 2: “It’s actually very effective against it. “The sun over California shone on us, and the case came down. We have made great progress. However, we need to be safe, and we need to be vigilant. ”
The Associated Press contributed to this report