In accordance with Newsom, California has recognized the primary case of a brand new pressure of Covid recognized within the UK
In this file photo dated June 30, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom removes his face mask before giving an update during a visit to Pittsburg, California.
Rich Pedroncelli | AP
California health officials have identified the state’s first case of the new and contagious strain of Covid-19, originally discovered in the United Kingdom, Governor Gavin Newsom said on Wednesday.
The patient was in the southern part of the state, Newsom told White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci, during a live Q&A session that was broadcast live on Facebook. However, Fauci said the news came as no surprise.
“I don’t think Californians should feel like this is anything strange. This is something that is expected,” Fauci told Newsom, adding that he predicts other states will soon identify cases with the new strain will.
On Tuesday, Colorado health officials confirmed the first case of the B.1.1.7 variant of coronavirus. During a news conference on Wednesday, Colorado Governor Jared Polis said the state is investigating a possible second case of the new tribe.
Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said earlier Wednesday that the new tribe could put pressure on the country’s hospitals, which are already overwhelmed with Covid-19 patients.
Dr. Henry Walke, the agency’s Covid Incident Manager, said the new variant appears to be spreading “easier and faster than other strains”, but it doesn’t seem to make people sick or increase their risk of death.
A particularly worrying aspect of the Colorado case was that the patient had not traveled, “suggesting this variant was transmitted person-to-person in the United States,” Walke told reporters on a conference call.
Some good news: The new variant doesn’t appear to affect the vaccines’ effectiveness or make diagnosis difficult with existing tests, Fauci told Newsom. The UK has also found that people who were already infected with previous strains of Covid-19 do not appear to be re-infected with this new variant.
Researchers have yet to determine whether the new strain may be resistant to monoclonal antibody treatment, which has successfully helped some patients recover from the disease, Fauci said. Unlike vaccines, which trigger an immune response that attacks different parts of the virus, monoclonal antibodies target a very specific component, according to the country’s leading infectious disease expert.
Monoclonal antibodies have shown promising benefits if the virus is detected early enough. President Donald Trump attributed Regeneron’s treatment for feeling better “immediately” when he was infected and finally hospitalized with Covid-19 in early October.
“We know that about it now, but we’re following this extremely carefully,” said Fauci, adding that they are studying the exposure at the National Institute of Health and a number of laboratories across the country.
– CNBC’s Will Feuer and Amanda Macias contributed to this report.