A COVID-19 variant first identified in Southern California appears to have spread to at least 19 states and several other countries, a study published Thursday suggests.
The variant accounted for about 44% of Southern California cases as of late January, nearly double from a month earlier, the study said. It was first identified in a single case in July and reemerged during a holiday surge in cases in the Los Angeles area.
More research is needed to determine if the variant spreads more easily than other COVID-19 variants or causes more disease, said study co-author Jasmine Plummer, a Cedars-Sinai researcher.
The paper was published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, wrote in an accompanying editorial that said new variants likely will continue to emerge until spread of the virus is reduced.
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— to apnews.com