California Identifies 1,000 Instances Of “West Coast” Covid-19 Variants – .
Over the past few weeks, California’s Covid-19 numbers have dropped dramatically, allaying fears of a continued surge in cases. However, state health officials have also started warning of the spread of new variants of the virus that may be more adaptable and / or vaccine-resistant.
The first of these is B.1.1.7, also known as the UK variant. It is assumed that B.1.1.7 is about 50% more transferable. Los Angeles County health officials identified the first case of B.1.1.7 in the area in mid-January. According to Dr. However, Mark Ghaly, CA director of health and human services on Tuesday, said the strain in the state is not mounting fast. Ghaly said 133 cases have been recorded to date, “mostly in the southern part of the state”. But there is another strain of the virus that is less known and more common in the state.
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Different synchronizations B.1.429 and B.1.427 or the West Cast Variants or sometimes called CAL.20C.
Dr. Charles Chiu, a virologist and professor of laboratory medicine at UCSF, who worked with government agencies to genetically sequence test samples to identify new variants. Early signs are that CAL.20C may be less susceptible to the currently approved vaccines. However, more research is needed.
“This variant carries three mutations, including L452R, in the spike protein that the virus uses to attach to and enter cells and is the target of the two vaccines currently available in the US,” said Dr . Chiu. A spike protein mutation could then make the vaccine less effective. Given the importance of the spike protein, L452R is another name that is sometimes used for the West Coast variants.
When asked about vaccine resistance, Ghaly said more cautiously, “Unclear about the exact role it plays in people’s disease, or how it affects things like vaccines.”
However, Ghaly revealed that the state had over 1,000 cases of west coast variants. That is far more than the much discussed British variant. In particular, Ghaly announced Tuesday that the state had identified 767 cases of B.1.429 and 290 cases of B.1.427.
“This variant has been found in several large outbreaks in our county,” said Dr. Sara Cody, Santa Clara County Health Officer, in January. She called this correlation “a red flag and needs further investigation”.
The west coast variants have also been detected in the counties of Los Angeles, Mono, Monterey, Orange, Riverside, San Francisco, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Humboldt, and Lake. Because genomic sequencing is sparse, it is not currently known exactly how common L452 is nationwide or nationally.
Dr. Chiu said L452R grew from about 3.8% of the samples he tested in late November 2020 through early December to more than 25.2% in late December through early January 2021.
Eric Vail, director of molecular pathology at Cedars-Sinai, told the New York Times that CAL.20C may have played a role in the increase in cases that overwhelmed hospitals in Southern California earlier this month. “I am confident this is a more contagious strain of the virus,” said Dr. Vail.
Scientists are concerned about L452R because it could help coronaviruses attach to human cells and infect them more easily.
Dr. Vail and other state researchers say the L452 mutations found were always next to four other specific mutations. This immutable agreement was a strong sign of a single line that was “native” to California.
Cedar researchers discovered CAL.20C in July. As far as limited genetic testing could prove it, the variant didn’t reappear in Southern California until October. It didn’t seem widespread at the time.
However, by December, 36% of virus samples from Cedars-Sinai patients had been identified as CAL2.0C. The variant also made up almost a quarter of all samples from Southern California. But here, too, the number of samples tested is tiny next to the total number of daily Covid tests.
Speaking of which, the state recorded 12,064 new cases on Tuesday, with 422 pandemic-related deaths. The number of available hospital and intensive care beds continues to grow.
With a view to reopening further, state officials announced that Los Angeles County had an adjusted case rate of 48.2 per 100,000 last week. This week that number has fallen to 38.7 per 100,000. When 25 cases per 100,000 are hit, elementary schools can apply to reopen.
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