Virus variant from South Africa detected in US for 1st time

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Credit: MGN

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – A new coronavirus variant identified in South Africa has been found in the United States for the first time. South Carolina officials say two such cases have been diagnosed in the state. Viruses mutate constantly, and many variants of the coronavirus are circulating around the globe, but scientists are primarily concerned with three that appear to spread more easily. Other variants first reported in the United Kingdom and Brazil were already confirmed in the U.S. Researchers predicted it was only a matter of time before the variant identified in South Africa reached the United States as well.

News 12 Now recently spoke with local officials on how the UK variant could effect the situation in the Tennessee Valley.

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Dr. Jay Sizemore with Erlanger Health Systems said, “If this variant were to take hold, certainly we could potentially expect kind of a secondary surge post holidays. Especially if we as a community fall in to the trap of seeing dropping numbers as a sign we can go out and resume normal activities.”

By MICHELLE LIU and MIKE STOBBE, Associated Press

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