Two new studies have surfaced revealing that a Covid variant first identified in the California state in late December has been surging in transmissions. The studies have concluded that this variant of the virus is much more contagious than others. Several regions of the state have been severely affected by this new variant, and it is the most propagated variant in California, according to these studies.
New Studies Reveal Covid Variant Surging In California
The SARS CoV-2 variant, namely B.1.427/B.1.429, was first detected in the state in December, last year, and has been propagated across the golden state. The studies found that this variant leaves twice as much viral residue in the host body. And these are capable of resisting the immune system and vaccines, according to The New York Times.
The second study, in particular, found that this variant has been spreading rapidly across Mission District, San Francisco in the last few months. Dr. Charles Chiu, an author of the first study and virologist at the University of California, said that his conclusions are grave, despite his hope to bring good news for the public. He said that the signs are pointing towards this virus variant being significantly more contagious.
This variant has been found in almost 45 US states so far. It has also been identified in other countries such as Australia, Denmark, Mexico, and Taiwan. But the widespread propagation has been witnessed only in California. By late January, this variant was the most transmitted in the state. The numbers are almost doubling every 18 days at present.
Dr. Chiu believes that while the effectiveness of vaccines against this variant of Covid is still unclear, but an extensive vaccine drive could, possibly, put an end to transmissions. “We will be able to deal with these variants simply because we won’t have ongoing transmissions”, he said.
However, others have argued that while this variant might be concerning, it might not be as dangerous as the B.1.1.7 first found in the UK. The B.1.1.7 variant has since then spread to many other countries, as well as the US. The transmission rates of this variant have not slowed down for any country. It is also much more fatal than other virus variants, according to experts.
Dr. Willian Hanage, an epidemiologist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public health, said that he is greatly convinced that the B.1.427 variant has seen much more propagation locally in California, than any other variant. But this does not mean that it is anywhere nearly as dangerous as the B.1.1.7, said Mr. Hanage, who was not involved in the studies.
The two studies are still in their research phase and have not yet been published or subjected to peer review.