A new strain of coronavirus that shares some characteristics with the South African variant is emerging in New York, researchers said on Wednesday.
By mid-February, the new variant, called B.1.526, was present in about 12 percent of coronavirus samples collected in the Big Apple and surrounding areas, according to researchers at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons.
In their analysis of publicly available databases, Colombian researchers did not find a high prevalence of COVID-19 variants for South Africa or Brazil in the region.
“Instead, we found a large number of this home-grown genus,” said Dr. Anne-Catherine Uleman, an assistant professor of infectious diseases at Columbia University̵
The Colombian study found that the new strain bore some similarities to a strain in South Africa that scientists say could spread more easily than other variants of the virus.
B.1.526 is also described in a study published this week by the California Institute of Technology.
None of the studies was reviewed by external experts.
With Post wires