A new coronavirus variant that has some similarities to the South African and Brazilian variants is on the rise in New York City, researchers stated on Wednesday, according to a Reuters report.
The new variant, known as B.1.526, was first identified in New York in November. By mid-February, it was behind 12% of new cases, according to researchers at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons.
The researchers said that when performing an analysis of databases, they identified only a small amount of the South African and Brazilian variants. “Instead we found high numbers of this home-grown lineage,” said Dr. Anne-Catrin Uhlemann, assistant professor in the division of infectious diseases at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons.
The study revealed that the New York variant shares worrying characteristics with B.1.351, the variant first identified in South Africa, and P.1., which was first identified in Brazil. Both variants are more transmissible, may be more deadly, and have shown evidence of being more resistant to existing vaccines.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)