A few weeks ago, Indian government officials reported the detection of a particular variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19. Now that specific variant has been found in the United States for the first time, according to researchers at Stanford University.
"We believe this is the first described case with this variant in the United States," Stanford Health Care spokesperson Lisa Kim told NBC News.
The Indian variant has not raised any particular concerns so far but scientists are obviously monitoring it. The interest in this new version of SARS-CoV is because it has two mutations (E484Q and L452) which were seen individually before in the other variants but not together. There is currently not enough data to understand how this might impact the virus's ability to spread or how well it does against vaccines.
Over 136 million people have become infected with COVID-19 over the last 18 months, with over 2,938,000 losing their lives to the disease.
[h/t: NBC News]