AHealth officials have detected the first cases of the South African strain of SARS-CoV-2 in the United States, the Associated Press reveals. The cases were diagnosed in the state of South Carolina.
The two people infected with this new variant do not appear to have a relationship, nor do they have a recent travel history, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control said.
Authorities said they were two adults living in different parts of the state.
“It’s scary,” said Krutika Kuppalli, an infectious disease physician at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. The expert said this could mean that there are more cases of the South African strain in the state that have yet to be detected. “It will probably have spread more,” he noted.
Earlier this week, U.S. health officials announced that the first case of the Brazilian variant had been detected in Minnesota. In this situation, however, the person who contracted this strain of SARS-CoV-2 had recently traveled to Brazil.
The variant native to South Africa was first detected in October. It has since been identified in at least 30 countries.
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