What we know about the Bay Area’s new coronavirus mutation

Bay Area

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — The Bay Area has detected its first cases of a different version of COVID-19 that has already been reported in Southern California.

The variant was confirmed in a deadly outbreak at Kaiser Permanente in San Jose, as well as other outbreaks in Santa Clara County. It was also found in San Francisco.

According to officials, they took samples from the Kaiser patients and found some had the COVID mutation.

This 452R variant is different than the B.1.1.7 variant first detected in the United Kingdom, health officials said.

“The fact that this variant was identified in several large outbreaks in our county is a red flag and must be investigated further,” Santa Clara County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody said. “This virus continues to mutate and adapt, and we cannot let down our guard.”

The Centers for Disease Control on Friday said a new variant that was detected in the UK will likely be the most common strain in the U.S. within two months.

However, Dr. Charles Chiu, director of viral diagnostics at UC San Francisco, said the different versions of COVID will not impact the current vaccines that have been approved for emergency use in the U.S.

“This variant carries three mutations, including L452R, in the spike protein, which the virus uses to attach to and enter cells, and is the target of the two vaccines that are currently available in the United States,” said Chiu.

Mutations of COVID-19 were being reported in the U.S. in November and December. Over 20 million Americans have been infected with COVID-19 since January 2020.

A 30-year-old man in San Diego was first said to have a COVID-19 mutation back in December. He did not have any history of travel.

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