Health officials confirmed the presence of a more contagious form of the novel coronavirus in San Bernardino County, officials announced Friday, Jan. 1.
San Bernardino County officials said in a news release that B.V. The B77 strain of -719 was found on December 20 in samples collected from two residents of a Big Bear-area home. The man in the contaminated home had contact with tourists who returned from the United Kingdom on 11 December, three days after he showed symptoms.
Coronavirus variants recently found in San Bernardino County were first reported in the UK, and may be circulating there from September, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It has become prevalent in the UK, accounting for 60% of all COVID-19 infections that have occurred in London since November.
San Bernardino County Health Officer Dr. Michael Sequeria said the B117 strain “spreads more easily and quickly.” It contains a protein that makes it easy for an enzyme found in human cells to bind and stick to a mutated pathogen.
Researchers are working to learn more about the more contagious version of COVID-19. Health officials have not collected any evidence that suggests this could lead to more serious illness in patients, or that they may be less resistant to the vaccine.
Greg Armstrong, director of the CDC’s Advanced Molecular Detection Program, said: “We know from experience with this mutation and other mutations that vaccine-induced immunity or previous strains are not likely to have a major impact on existing immunity.” Said Armstrong. Telephone conference on Wednesday 30 December.
So far, more than 20 million people in the United States have been diagnosed with COVID-19. More than 346,000 Americans have died from the disease.
In Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, a combined 645,548 new cases were reported in December alone. Meanwhile, the availability of hospital beds in California has come down to critically low levels.
Updates on the condition of two patients in San Bernardino County were not immediately available.