Researchers discover emerging COVID-19 strain in New York

Researchers said on Wednesday that a new coronavirus virus sharing some features with the South Africa version is emerging in New York City.

According to researchers at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, as of mid-February, the new version, called B.1.526, was present in about 12 percent of the coronavirus samples collected in the Big Apple and surrounding areas.

In their analysis of publicly available databases, Columbia researchers did not find a high prevalence of COVID-19 variants in South Africa or Brazil in the region.

An assistant professor of infectious disease at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, Drs. Annie-Caterin Uhlmann said, “Instead we got a high number of pedigrees in this house.”

The Columbia study found that the new strain shares some similarities to the South African strain, which scientists believe can spread more easily than other virus variants.

B.1.526 was also described in research published this week by the California Institute of Technology.

Neither study has been reviewed by outside experts.

With post wires

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