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Ohio researchers have identified two variants that may have originated in the United States



Medical staff provided free Covid-19 tests to people in their cars in the parking lot of the Columbus West Family Health Center in Columbus, Ohio on November 19, 2020.

Stephen Zenner | AFP | Getty Images

Researchers in Ohio said on Wednesday that they had discovered two new variants of the coronavirus that may have originated in the United States-in the three-week period between the end of December and January, one of them quickly became the main strain in Columbus, Ohio .

Researchers say that, like the strain first discovered in the UK, the mutation in the US seems to make Covid-1

9 more contagious, but does not seem to reduce the effectiveness of the vaccine.

Researchers at Ohio State University have not yet published the full results of the study, but said they are about to conduct research without peer review. They said in the press release that the new variant has three genetic mutations, “not seen together in a coronavirus before.”

The researchers said that a new strain found in only one patient in Ohio had the same mutation as the now dominant variant in the United Kingdom, noting that this mutation was “probably caused by an existing one in the United States.” It is caused by a virus.” However, the researchers said that the “Columbus strain” has dominated the city, including “three other genetic mutations not seen before in SARS-CoV2.”

Dr. Dan Jones, vice chairman of the Ohio Department of Molecular Pathology, said: “This new Columbus strain has the same genetic backbone as the earlier cases we studied, but these three mutations represent significant evolution.” “We know that. This transition did not come from the British or South African branch of the virus.”

The researchers identified the dominant strain in Columbus as COH.20G/501Y, and said that “in the past few months, the same mutations may have occurred independently across the world.”

Peter Mohler, chief scientific officer of Ohio Wexner Medical Center and co-author of the upcoming study, said there is no data to suggest that the new strain will affect the effectiveness of the vaccine.

He said in a statement: “It is important that we do not overreact to this new variant until we have more data.” “We need to understand the impact of the mutation on the spread of the virus, the prevalence of the strain in the population and whether it is It has a more important impact on human health.

Representatives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment. Ohio researchers will hold a press conference at 11 am Eastern Time to present their findings.

This is breaking news. Check here for updates.


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