SC health officials detect US’s first case of South Africa’s COVID-19 variant

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WPDE) — The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) announced the detection of two cases associated with the SARS-CoV-2 variant that first emerged recently in South Africa.

These are the first two cases of this variant in the United States.

Viruses are constantly changing, leading to the emergence of variants. Variants are closely monitored for their ability to spread faster or cause more disease.

South Carolina public health officials were notified late yesterday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of a South Carolina sample that was tested at LabCorp and determined to be the B.1.351 variant originally identified in South Africa.

Also, DHEC’s Public Health Laboratory tested samples on Jan. 25 and yesterday identified a separate case of the same variant.

Since June 2020, DHEC’s Public Health Laboratory has been performing tests of random samples in order to identify any instances of the variant viruses.

Read more here.

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