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Case Of India COVID Variant Discovered In San Diego

A coronavirus patient lies on a bed surrounded by medical staff inside the in...

Credit: Scripps Health

Above: A coronavirus patient lies on a bed surrounded by medical staff inside the intensive care unit at a Scripps hospital in this undated photo.

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The first case of the Covid virus variant that has led to a major outbreak in India has been detected in San Diego. Because of the lag time between a ... Read more →

Aired: May 5, 2021 | Transcript

A case of the COVID variant B.1.617, the strain that is causing thousands of deaths and catastrophically overwhelming health systems in India, has been discovered in San Diego.

The San Diego County Health Department learned of the discovery on April 29 and reported it to the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

The infected person is a woman in her 20s, who returned to San Diego from India in late March and was hospitalized in early April. The county cited the long lag time to complete genetic sequencing to explain why the county public health department wasn't notified until last week.

Much about the case is unknown, including who the patient is, whether she is still hospitalized and whether she had been vaccinated before her trip to India.

The India variant, B.1.617, is not prevalent in the United States, but it has been found in Michigan and Iowa. The United Kingdom variant, B.1.1.7, is far more common, causing about 60% of cases here, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

San Diego Union-Tribune health-care reporter Paul Sisson joined KPBS Midday Edition on Wednesday to talk about the India variant.

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