Coronavirus Strains: What You Need to Know

Coronavirus Strains: What You Need to Know

Cedars-Sinai researchers recently discovered a unique strain of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Dubbed CAL.20C—and also known as B.1.429—this strain originated in Southern California. Researchers detected CAL.20C in more than one-third of cases in their study of Southern California patients between November and December 2020. It is now spreading across the country—traveling with people

Cedars-Sinai researchers recently discovered a unique strain of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Dubbed CAL.20C—and also known as B.1.429—this strain originated in Southern California. Researchers detected CAL.20C in more than one-third of cases in their study of Southern California patients between November and December 2020. It is now spreading across the country—traveling with people as they visit other states.

Like all viruses do, SARS-CoV-2 is evolving. The more any virus spreads, the more likely it is to undergo tiny changes to its genes—the result is called a variant.

A consistent group of variants that are found in clusters of infections creates a new strain, like the SARS-CoV-2 strains identified in the United Kingdom, Brazil and South Africa. New strains can help any virus spread more easily and cause more severe effects—though spreading the same way and causing the same disease.

We spoke with Cedars-Sinai experts Dr. Eric Vail, Cedars-Sinai‘s director of Molecular Pathology, whose lab recently identified CAL.20C, and Dr. Michael Ben-Aderet, Cedars-Sinai‘s associate medical director of Hospital Epidemiology, about what you need to know about new strains of the virus that causes COVID-19.

Source: https://www.cedars-sinai.org/blog/coronavirus-strains.html

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