The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified a new variant of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) virus in Colorado, California, and Florida. While it has become widespread in the UK, according to health officials, these are the first cases of the variant that have been detected in the United States.
The first U.S. case discovered with the new coronavirus variant, B.1.1.7, was a man in his 20s who lives in Elbert County, Colorado, and has no history of travel, authorities have stated. Health officials added that the patient had been sent to help at a nursing home struggling with the outbreak.
Officials also noted that the man was one of six Colorado National Guardsmen sent to the same nursing home, and are investigating a potential second case among them.
In southern California, the second confirmed case of the variant in the U.S. was announced by Gov. Gavin Newsom less than 24 hours after the first reported case. The third confirmed case was reported in Florida involving another man in his 20s.
All three cases were found in people who hadn’t recently traveled. This may suggest that the variant has already spread within United States communities.
While very little is known about this new CCP virus variant, UK authorities have stated that it is more easily transmitted than previous strains identified from the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, and that it is the reason for the growing infection rates in southeastern England. They reported that there was no evidence of the variant being any more deadly.
According to Colorado chief medical doctor Dr. Eric France, researchers have also estimated the B.1.1.7 variant to be 50-70 percent more contagious. “Instead of only making two or three other people sick, you might actually spread it to four or five people,” France said, reported AP.
The CDC said in Dec. 19 statement that the ongoing travel “between the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as the high prevalence of this variant among current UK infections, increase the likelihood of importation,” and that given “the small fraction of US infections that have been sequenced, the variant could already be in the United States without having been detected.”
Southeast England has been put under strict lockdown measures amidst its CCP virus surge, and dozens of countries have banned flights from Britain. Cases of the B.1.1.7 variant have also been reported in Canada, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia, many European countries, and more.
In South Africa, another highly contagious strain of the CCP virus, 501.V2, has also been discovered, which has led to the country’s latest growth of cases and hospitalizations.
The CDC has noted numerous mutations found of the CCP virus have been found, which pose the potential risk of evading “vaccine-induced immunity,” causing “immune pressure that could favor and accelerate emergence of such variants by selecting for ‘escape mutants.’” The agency said that there is no evidence of this occurrence and “most experts believe escape mutants are unlikely to emerge because of the nature of the virus.”
By Yonah W.