First case in California of British coronavirus variant confirmed in San Diego County

San Diego has become the first community in the state, and one of the first in the country, to detect the presence of a new variant of the new coronavirus, and announced that a local man in his thirties tested positive for the tension.

The case is confirmed by a quick genetic analysis on Wednesday at 3am and indicates the presence of the same pathogen that caused three-quarters of the English population – around 40 million people – in the strictest level of the country’s lockdown system.

The new virus strain seems to be spreading faster than other versions in circulation.

San Diego’s case is among three known or presumably of the British subtype, called B.1.1.7. Media reports indicate that two members of the National Guard stationed in Colorado are thought to have the same type of infection. As of Wednesday night, one has been confirmed while the confirmation is still waiting for the second.

Dr. Eric McDonald, medical director of the province’s epidemiology department, said the San Diego resident did not report any overseas travel before he became ill, nor any of the two cases in Colorado. Travel history was not yet available for the second time.

Absent evidence of travel, it would appear that those with confirmed infections have picked up the virus in their communities, which strongly suggests that the British tribe is widespread in the community that people realize.

“There are other cases in San Diego that we need to be aware of,” McDonald said.

The San Diego topic apparently obeyed the current home series.

“If we go back two weeks, the number of activities was also very limited,” McDonald said. “There was no work activity, and there was no specific meeting we talked about that would be the potential for a community outbreak.”

Scientists around the world scramble to learn as much as possible about B.1.1.7. and another similar voltage detected in South Africa, which appears to have a similar turbocharged transmission capability.

Wednesday was busy with COVID developments.

On Wednesday, Todd Gloria, Mayor of San Diego, announced a new executive order that calls for stricter enforcement of health orders. Gloria said police officers in San Diego will work closely with the city attorney’s office to aggressively pursue $ 1,000 fines for those who ‘blatantly and horribly defy the provision of public health orders.’

Sharp HealthCare, the region’s largest healthcare system, has also been scrutinized for administering 300 doses of coronavirus vaccine to local first responders. Police and firefighters are not at the top level of the state’s vaccination priority schedule, which says doses should go to frontline health workers and residents and nursing homes.

In an email, a Sharp official said the doses, which last up to six months under deep freezing conditions, were on the verge of expiring after reaching the five-day viability period after being thawed. and is ready to use. at a walk-in clinic for Sharp employees.

Sharp said he is reconsidering his planning process for managing vaccine used at inpatient clinics. So far, about 10,000 of the 20,000 doses Sharp has received have been used.

San Diego is one of the first communities in the country to detect the British tribe, probably because the biomedical community has apparently paid close attention to information coming from the UK since the new version of the virus was announced in early December. Researchers have noted that a specific COVID molecular test by testing the giant Thermo Fisher, which targets three different patches in the genome of the COV2 virus, has a serious ability to indicate that a coronavirus of can be the British type.

It is known that the British variant has a mutation that removes a small part of its S gene, the shape that determines the shape of the characteristic proteins of the surface of the peak surface that gives the name.

Because the Thermo Fisher test targets three different locations, it is still possible to be positive, with only two of the three making a match. Results that come back with two hits and a miss on the S target are therefore possible from the British variant. However, other mutated versions of the virus remove the same S target, so genetic sequencing is needed as a second step to confirm that the virus in question is indeed B.1.1.7.

This whole series took place very quickly in San Diego with the EXCITE laboratory of UC San Diego detecting the S-drop and sending a sample immediately to the Scripps Research immunologist and molecular biologist Kristian Andersen, whose laboratory by the worked night to answer the question and a result in the morning hours.

Andersen warned during the weekly COVID-19 news conference in the province on Wednesday afternoon that the variant is probably already among us, as was the case in the United Kingdom. He insisted on a new commitment to the handwashing, masking and social distancing practices that have declined over the past few months as many complain about COVID-19 fatigue.

“Detecting this lineage here doesn’t really change what we need to do, except that we need to do it better,” Andersen said.

He said no one knows for sure whether the British variant in Southern California will be as easily transmissible as appears to be the case in England.

“We can expect the same thing to happen here in San Diego, but we do not yet know that it will really happen,” he said.

UC San Diego’s EXCITE Laboratory processes approximately 1,000 samples per day and determines whether they are positive or negative. The samples are drawn from the school’s students, faculty, and staff, as well as from some public schools in San Diego County and the San Diego Fire and Rescue.

It was not clear on Wednesday whether the person who tested positive had any direct connection to UCSD.

“We determine whether the variant comes from a student or someone else,” said Dr. David Brenner, vice chancellor of health sciences at UC San Diego.

Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Research and Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, said he is very familiar with the work of Andersen, who has gained a national and international reputation. Detecting the variant so quickly, according to him, is probably a harbinger of future things. Although science hubs like San Diego are usually the first to detect such arrivals, the fact that no one has reported overseas travel so far means that there are more of the same waiting to be found.

“I think this virus is probably being spread in a large part of the US,” he said.

According to him, it should be a sobering reminder that this is not the year for a big New Year’s Eve party.

“Celebrate with those you love, with whom you were in the same bubble of exposure,” he said. “The greatest gift you can give them is that they will not be exposed to this virus, so they will be on New Year’s Eve 2021.”