Ohio, Jan 14: Researchers at the Ohio State University in the United States have discovered a new strain of COVID-19 similar to a new highly infectious variant identified in the United Kingdom.
“Scientists at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and College of Medicine have discovered a new variant of SARS-Cov-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The new variant carries a mutation identical to the U.K. strain, but it likely arose in a virus strain already present in the United States,” the university said in a press release published late on Wednesday.
The new variant has so far only been identified in one patient in Ohio, the university said.
Additionally, researchers are examining the evolution of a US strain of COVID-19 that has been identified in a growing number of new cases in the state capital, Columbus, the university said.
“The evolving strain with the three new mutations has become the dominant virus in Columbus during a three week period in late December 2020 and January,” the press release read.
Several new COVID-19 strains have been reported across the globe over recent weeks. In mid-December, the UK government reported that a new variant of the disease, which is believed to be up to 70 percent more transmissible, was discovered in southeast England.
Other variants have been discovered in South Africa and Brazil, raising fears over vaccine efficacy.