Today, the Ministry of Health confirmed that its laboratory department had discovered the SARS-CoV-2 variant L452R.
Officials said the coronavirus strain was first discovered in Denmark in March 2020 and is now found in more than a dozen US states. The Centers for Disease Control and Protection warned that it would probably become the dominant version in the country by March.
Although science has not shown that the L452R variant is spreading faster or poses a greater threat than other strains of COVID-19, officials have said there are concerns as it is linked to a growing number of cases – including several large outbreaks. – in California.
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“Virus variants such as COVID-19 are common. Some carry greater risks than others, “said Dr. Sarah Campbell, a current state epidemiologist, in a news release. “We are working with our colleagues in other states, as well as with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to learn more about the characteristics of this particular option.”
The department’s lab department began genome sequencing in June to look for possible variants of COVID-19 and is now testing 75 specimens a week. He has also developed a testing algorithm designed to find variants as soon as they arrive.
Officials stated that Option B.1.1.7, first discovered in the United Kingdom, and Option B.1.351, first discovered in South Africa, had “enhanced portability”. Neither has been discovered in Hawaii yet.
“Hawaii is not immune to new strains,” Health Director Dr. Elizabeth Charr said in a statement. “The arrival of the L452R reminds us to wear masks, keep a physical distance from people outside our immediate households and avoid crowds. These safe practices, combined with COVID-19 vaccines, will help stop the spread. “