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A new COVID variant detected in Louisiana.It’s not an imminent threat, health officials say | Coronavirus

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A new COVID variant named B.1.630, first detected in the United States in March, was sequenced by the Shreveport LSU.

This is the first time this variant has been detected in Louisiana.

“This is primarily an academic curiosity, which is public health in the immediate sense,” said virologist Jeremy Kamil, an associate professor of microbiology and immunology at Louisiana State University Health Shreveport (LSUHS). It’s not a threat above. ”

Variants are usually given a classification when a certain level of threat is reached, or are named in Greek letters. However, B.1.630 does not have either “because it occupies a very small percentage of the sequenced sample” according to the LSUHS press release.

Kamil describes B.1.630 as a variant with “attractive spike-changing boat roads”, but emphasizes that the delta variant remains a major concern.

Editor’s Note: The Times-Picayune | New Orleans Proponents… as the importance of the various indicators used to track pandemics has changed.

“”[Delta] It’s just better than anyone else, “Kamil said. “It’s like having to compete with a marathon runner who competes in the Olympics and beats other racers for an hour, not just a minute or two.”

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The B.1.630 variant was detected by LSU in a sample in August. However, of the 660 samples tested at LSU in the last 35 days, 99.7% were deltas, no B.1.630, and the remaining 0.3% of the two cases were alpha variants, November 2020. Was first detected in the United Kingdom. Kamil said.

B.1.630 contains the specific mutant E484Q found only in 79 variants sequenced in the United States, according to the LSUSH press release.

Contextual: According to the Louisiana Department of Health, 598,023 COVIDs have been identified in Louisiana since the outbreak of the pandemic, of which only two were B.1.630. There are an additional 152,450 possible cases.

Dr. Crysta Queen, Director of Virus Genomics and Surveillance at the Center of Excellence, said: A new viral threat in LSUHS.

“Vaccination continues to be the best tool to prevent infections and serious illnesses,” the LSUHS press release emphasized.

Emily Woodruff contributed to this report.

Gorilla and orangutan were first inoculated

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