A new coronavirus variant has been detected in Louisiana.
The EVT Viral Genomics and Sequencing Lab at Louisiana State University Health Shreveport detected a new COVID-19 variant last week. KSLA reports.
The variant — called B.1.630 — was found in two samples collected in Baton Rouge.
The variant reportedly has the E484Q mutation, which means it could escape the immune system and cause infection, per KSLA.
Jeremy Kamil, an associate professor of microbiology and immunology at LSU Health Shreveport, told NOLA.com that the variant isn’t an immediate health threat.
“This is mostly academic curiosity,” he said.
Dr. Krista Queen, the director of viral genomics and surveillance for the Center of Excellence for Emerging Viral Threats at LSUHS, said the vaccine is recommended to combat this new variant.
“Even though the predominance of this variant is low, we will continue to keep an eye on it and watch for any changes or if it starts to increase,” she told KSLA. “Any lineage or sub-lineage of SARS-CoV-2 with this E484Q mutation is watched because of the possibility of immune evasion. Some of the variants that do not have other mutations that increase transmissibility will eventually die out, but it is important to monitor any changes in abundance.”
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Source: Daily Mail