Coronavirus:'Double mutant' Version found in California's Bay Area

Coronavirus:'Double mutant' Version found in California's Bay Area

It's unclear if the variant can cause reinfections or is resistant to vaccines

A new version of this coronavirus has been discovered in California's Bay Area.

At least seven presumed instances of the Indian version were also found.

The variant has been labeled as the"double mutant" because it carries two mutations in the virus that helps it latch onto tissues, reports stated.

"If you're in an elevator with someone that's infected with the version you are more likely to be infected with that variant," said Stanford Clinical Virology Lab Director, Dr. Ben Pinsky, based on FOX two of the San Francisco Bay Area.

UCSF's Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, an infectious disease expert, known as the version"less forgiving."

He noted that the variant could be more infectious as it accounts for 20 percent of cases from the hard-hit Indian state of Maharashtra. Cases there have increased 50% over the previous week, he explained.

"It also makes sense it will be more transmissible from a biological standpoint because the 2 mutations behave at the receptor-binding domain of this virus, however there have been no official transmission studies to date," he told the San Francisco Chronicle.

Chin-Hong added that it's too early to know whether the version -- first discovered by Indian health officials this past year -- can create reinfections or is significantly more resistant to vaccine antibodies. Among the mutations was like a variant that was first detected in California. Another mutation was found on variations that were first found in Brazil and South Africa.

"This Indian version includes two mutations at precisely the same virus to the first time, formerly seen on different versions," Chin-Hong explained. "Since we know that the domain is the part that the virus uses to enter the body, which the California variant is potentially more immune to some vaccine antibodies, it appears to reason that there's a possibility that the Indian version may do this too."

While Chin-Hong said research have yet to confirm that, he felt"optimistic" vaccinations might work based on the known efficiency against variations coming from South Africa and California.

"Ipersonally, in my heart of hearts, think that the vaccines will continue to be effective against this new Indian version based on a number of the information we have been getting concerning the even scary versions, such as the South Africa version, and how Pfizer's vaccine is actually successful against it," Chin-Hong told FOX 2. "The sun is shining over California, our instances are down. We have made great progress. However, we will need to be secure, we need to keep our guard up."

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