A new coronavirus variant has been discovered in the Bay Area, which is believed to be the first case in the whole United States, and is a double mutation that experts accuse of being responsible for the massive surge of cases in India.
Travelers coming from a vacation in Hawaii were still anxious about the incident at the popular tourist destination. “We’ve been playing it really safe, but a couple factors really played into the decision. One watching the numbers go down and then Hawaii was really really safe,” Kristina Barnes said.
Indian COVID-19 Variant
Santa Clara County officials confirmed the emergence of a new variant of the coronavirus in the region amid the declining infections across several Bay Area counties. Stanford Health experts were the ones who reported the case of a double mutation of the COVID-19 virus. There is at least one case known in the Bay Area.
However, medical professionals are unsure of the threat of the new COVID-19 strain. “There is no definite evidence that this double variant is more virulent or causes more severe disease,” Stanford University’s Dr. Dean Winslow said.
Health experts believe the three approved coronavirus vaccines will be effective against the new COVID-19 variant. “Most people will mount an immune response. Maybe it will not protect against an all-out infection but at least it will protect against moderate or severe diseases,” Winslow said.
Authorities believe the Indian variant of the COVID-19 virus is more transmissible than the original, forcing them to urge residents to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Officials emphasize the need for the whole country to be vaccinated to avoid the threat that the new variant could cause, NBC Bay Area reported.
However, Santa Clara County officials said the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was not prioritizing the control of the Indian COVID-19 variant. Across the United States, officials have recorded a peak of four million vaccine shots administered in a single day.