British coronavirus strain occurs in San Diego County

This frame from the streaming video of the governor's office shows the governor of california, Gavin Newsom, left and dr.  Anthony Fauci during a conversation on Wednesday 30 December 2020.

This frame from the streaming video of the governor’s office shows the governor of california, Gavin Newsom, left and dr. Anthony Fauci during an interview on Wednesday 30 December 2020. | Office of the Governor via AP

OAKLAND – The new coronavirus variant originally found in the UK has arrived in San Diego County, making California the second state to detect the strain, which can be more contagious.

Government Gavin Newsom announced the discovery during a lively conversation with Anthony Fauci, the country’s leading expert in infectious diseases. At the time, Newsom said the tribe was found in Southern California.

The news of the tribe’s arrival did not surprise Fauci, who described Covid-19 and other RNA viruses in the same family as “consisting of mutation” and said he would probably come here. “I do not think Californians should feel that this is something strange,” he said. “It’s something to be expected.”

The new tribe: The presence of the new mutated strain in the United States was documented for the first time in Colorado on Tuesday. Two patients in the condition allegedly had the new variant, state health officials reported.

San Diego supervisor Nathan Fletcher said in a newsletter on Wednesday that the patient was a 30-year-old man with “no travel history.”

Mark Ghaly, secretary of the state agency for health and human services, called the search “concerned”.

“As we learn more about how this patient contracted this strain, I want to emphasize the importance of continuing our mitigation efforts to prevent Covid-19 and this new strain,” Ghaly said in a statement, urging people to follow public health protocols and avoid traveling and mixing outside households.

Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, stressed that early evidence shows that the new strain spreads more easily, but it does not make people sicker or look more deadly. Fauci said many mutations are irrelevant, but “this particular mutation actually makes the virus better at transmitting from one person to another.”

The Covid-19 vaccines in circulation are expected to provide immunity to this strain.

The boom: Fauci spoke to the governor as California experienced a boom that made California an epicenter of the nationwide pandemic. The capacity of the intensive care unit hit 0 percent across the country as hospitals moved them to alternative care areas and other arrangements to care for patients. The new case of Covid-19 has been declining in recent days, but the state has not yet experienced the impact of Christmas gatherings and travel.

“We were hit hard, and unfortunately California did too. [been] hit, currently as bad as anyone, if not worse, ”Fauci said. Newsom quickly objected that California’s positivity rate – or the percentage of positive tests of all Covid-19 tests – is lower than that of many other states.

Asked what was most surprising during the pandemic, Fauci told the governor he expected the basic infection rate after the initial restrictions imposed across the country in the spring to be low enough that outbreaks, or ‘blips’, if he described it, can be contained through case identification, isolation and contact tracing. But the case skyrocketed when the country began to open up.

Fauci also noted that some of the challenges of the pandemic were more difficult than those he and other public health experts experienced during the AIDS / HIV crisis. “It was not like the dichotomy of what we are currently seeing that makes the implementation of public and public health messages really difficult,” he said.

About vaccinations and reopening: Fauci, who spoke to Newsom on the day the governor announced his reopening plan, stressed the importance of reopening schools safely, noting that schools often have lower infection rates than the surrounding community.

Fauci said the country should place more emphasis on antigen testing to monitor outbreaks in places such as schools, prisons and nursing homes. With the advent of the vaccine, he said he hoped the country would get a “semblance of normality”, with the return of sports, theater and other major events by the autumn.

“As more and more people are vaccinated, we’re going to look at the thing in the rearview mirror,” Fauci said.