California Officials Detect First Case Of Emerging Double Mutant COVID19 Strain From India

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Health experts from the Stanford Clinical Virology Lab have reported a case of a new double mutant COVID19 variant in California that has been found in India.  The senior manager of Media Relations at the Stanford Health Care, Lisa Kim has said that the Clinical Virology Lab has confirmed that a new case of COVID19 has been linked to the Indian variant. Experts have said that the variant contains the L452R mutation of the California strain. It as well has another major spike mutation called E484Q. As per the experts, this same spot is mutated to an unusual amino acid (K) in the strains that have been found in South Africa and Brazil. Scientists have said that in a way, it shows that one of the mutations of the Indian variant is a crucial shift that has been found in the Brazil and South Africa variants.  The mutation that has been identified in the Indian variant has been found in California for the first time that is the most widely spread COVID19 strain in the state so far. Health experts have said that it is a huge matter of concern as the Indian variant has troublesome mutations from different deadly variants that have been found in Brazil and South Africa.

An infectious disease expert, Dr. Peter Chin-Hong from the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) has said that for the first time, the variant that has been found in India has two mutations in the same virus. In the past, such mutations have been seen in separate variants. He has said that in such a case, the affected domain is the part that is used by the virus to enter the body, on the other hand, the California strain is said to be potentially resistant to some vaccine antibodies. Therefore, it seems that the Indian variant as well will be resistant to vaccines and other effective treatments. Lisa Kim from Stanford Health care has said that it is unclear whether this variant from India is more contagious or is defiant to vaccine antibodies. She has said that despite a sudden surge in COVID19 cases in India towards the end of March, health officials have been more worried about the transmission of the UK strain than the double mutant that has emerged in the country. However, the news of the emergence of a new variant in the state of California has raised many concerns about the strains that are circulating in California; since one of the mutations of the new strain has been found in the most widely spread strains of the state.

California has been monitoring five variants that might be more contagious or drug-resistant such as the UK variant known as B.1.1.7, Brazilian variants, P.1 and P.2, South African variant B.1.351, and its own west coast variants B.1.427, and B.1.429. Experts have found only one case of double mutant strain from India through genomic sequencing. Although the numbers of cases linked to the Indian variant are less, only a small number of test samples are sent for genomic sequencing in the state. The state has done more than 55 million COVID19 tests so far, however, only 50000 test samples have been sent for genomic analysis. It shows that less than 0.1 percent of samples have been tested so far. Experts have said that such surveillance in such a diverse state might not help identify how far these variants have spread in the state.


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