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The coronavirus variant found in South Africa has been detected in a New York resident for the first time. 10 states have reported cases so far.

Published by Business Insider on Mon, 22 Feb 2021


<p><img src="https://static6.businessinsider.com/image/603392f1623bd30012bcc7c3-1777/Andrew Cuomo.jpg" border="0" alt="Andrew Cuomo" data-mce-source="Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty" data-mce-caption="New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is seen attending a press conference on September 29, 2020." data-link="https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/new-york-state-governor-andrew-cuomo-holds-daily-media-news-photo/1228808331'adppopup=true"></p><p></p><bi-shortcode id="summary-shortcode" data-type="summary-shortcode" class="mceNonEditable" contenteditable="false">Summary List Placement</bi-shortcode><p>The coronavirus variant found in South Africa has been confirmed in a New York resident for the first time, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo <a href="https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-announces-single-day-covid-19-positivity-rate-drops-below-3-percent-first-time" target="_blank" rel="noopener">announced Sunday</a>.</p><p>A resident of Nassau County tested positive for the variant from South Africa, which is called B.1.351. Further details about the case were not provided, including when it was detected, or whether the person had recently traveled.&nbsp;</p><p>A man from Connecticut was hospitalized in New York City with the same variant on <a href="https://abc7ny.com/covid-vaccine-south-african-variant-from-africa-in-nyc/10341992/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">February 15.</a>&nbsp;</p><p>So far, <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/transmission/variant-cases.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">10 states have reported</a> a case of the variant.</p><p>Trials suggest the variant <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/south-africa-covid-variant-antibody-drugs-scott-gottlieb-2021-1" target="_blank" rel="noopener">may be able to evade antibodies </a>produced by the body, which could potentially mean vaccines are less effective against it.</p><p>Cuomo said that the discovery of the variant from South Africa meant that precautions to stop the spread of the virus, like hand-washing, social distancing, and mask-wearing, were "more important than ever."</p><p>"We are in a race right nowbetween our ability to vaccinate and these variants which are actively trying to proliferateand we will only win that race if we stay smart and disciplined," Cuomo <a href="https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-announces-single-day-covid-19-positivity-rate-drops-below-3-percent-first-time" target="_blank" rel="noopener">said in a statement.</a></p><p>The B.1.351 variant <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/transmission/variant.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">was first detected in South Africa</a> in October 2020. It has since spread to 36 countries, including to the US, where it is circulating in at least 10 states, including California and Texas, according <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/transmission/variant-cases.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)</a>. There are 22 reported cases of B.1.351 in the US overall, according <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/transmission/variant-cases.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">to the CDC</a>.&nbsp;</p><p>The main concern with the variant found in South Africa is its <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/covid-variant-mutation-uk-vaccines-work-2021-2" target="_blank" rel="noopener">ability to evade the antibodies</a> produced by the body to fight infection, which could mean COVID-19 vaccines work less well, or that people get reinfected. In trials, existing COVID-19 vaccines from <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/pfizer-biontech-vaccine-south-africa-variant-covid-vaccines-mutation-2021-2" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Pfizer-BioNTech </a>and <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/coronavirus-variant-south-africa-vaccines-2021-1" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Moderna</a> were less effective against lab-made pseudoviruses containing some of the variant's mutations.&nbsp;</p><p>Moderna and Pfizer have said they're developing<a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/coronavirus-variant-south-africa-vaccines-2021-1" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> booster shots for the variant.</a></p><p>AstraZeneca's shot was shown to be less effective against mild or moderate illness in South Africa, but the <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/astrazeneca-vaccine-is-recommended-by-world-health-organization-experts-2021-2" target="_blank" rel="noopener">World Health Organization has said</a> the vaccine protects against severe disease and hospitalization caused by the variant.</p><p>COVID-19 vaccines from <a href="https://www.jnj.com/johnson-johnson-announces-single-shot-janssen-covid-19-vaccine-candidate-met-primary-endpoints-in-interim-analysis-of-its-phase-3-ensemble-trial" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Johnson &amp; Johnson</a> and <a href="https://ir.novavax.com/news-releases/news-release-details/novavax-covid-19-vaccine-demonstrates-893-efficacy-uk-phase-3" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Novartis</a>, which are not yet approved, were less effective in clinical trials in South Africa.</p><p><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/south-africa-covid-variant-us-states-new-york-andrew-cuomo-2021-2#comments">Join the conversation about this story &#187;</a></p> <p>NOW WATCH: <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/why-the-coronavirus-mutations-are-actually-nothing-to-worry-about-2020-4">How viruses like the coronavirus mutate</a></p>
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