A new variant of the coronavirus, initially found in South Africa, has now come to the United States, the Associated Press reported.
The new version is coming at a time where health systems are already strapped due to a constant stream of COVID-19 patients. And with a death toll of 3,000 people dying to COVID-19 daily, the report added.
The virus was found in two cases in South Carolina, according to the report; they don’t seem to be connected, however.
State public health officials say it’s almost positive that there are even more infections that have not been identified so far. These officials are also worried that this version spreads more easily and that vaccines might be not as effective against the mutated virus, according to the report.
Other variants initially reported in the United Kingdom and Brazil have been already confirmed in the U.S, according to the report.
Also, Maryland-based vaccine company Novavax says its COVID-19 vaccine is 89% effective, as a result of early findings from a British study. The shot also seems to work against the mutated versions of the virus identified in the U.K. and South Africa, but not as effectively, the report added.
The coronavirus has killed roughly 433,000 Americans, according to a Johns Hopkins University report.