A double mutant coronavirus variant first discovered in India has been found in the USA. The mutant variant was found in a testing sample in a lab in San Francisco, California. Medics have now said America is in a race against time to vaccinate people despite already jabbing over 106.2 million citizens. The news comes as health experts fear a fourth covid wave is about to hit the US.
Speaking to Good Morning America, infectious disease expert at Stanford University Dr Yvonne Maldonado said this was the first time this particular “double mutant” strain had been found in America.
Dr Anthony Fauci, Chief Medical Advisor to President, stressed that the US was now in a race to combat the new double mutant variant.
Dr Fauci said: “It’s kind of like a race between getting people vaccinated.
“And the more people on a daily basis you get vaccinated, the better chance you have of blunting or preventing that surge that we are all concerned about.”
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The discovery of the double mutant variant comes as the US coronavirus case average is up nearly 20 percent in the last two weeks.
Experts are concerned new variants will send covid cases rocketing across America and mean the virus will be much harder to control, tipping the USA towards a fourth covid wave.
It comes as Massachusetts records more cases of the ‘Brazil’ variant than anywhere else in the USA, a variant which is behind a massive spike in cases.
Dr Douglas Golenbock from the same states’ university warned “if we don’t control covid-19 then that gives the virus opportunities for new mutations to arise, now is not the time to let our guard down.”
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But as the US opens its sports stadiums to fans across the country many feel it is too late to prevent an inevitable fourth wave.
Last month virologist Dr Shahid Jameel warned the BBC it was important the Indian double mutant variant was monitored closely in the future as he predicted the variant could spread if populations were not careful.
He said: “We need to constantly monitor and make sure none of the variants of concern are spreading in the population.”
“The fact that it is not happening now doesn’t mean it will not happen in the future.”
Over 106.2 million Americans have received at least one dose of a Coronavirus vaccine.
But the country has seen a massive 554,739 deaths to the virus – the USA’s population is 328.2 million.
And there have been 30,663,748 reported covid infections over the pandemic in the United States.
207,866,645 vaccines have been distributed while an astonishing 161,688,422 vaccines have been administered which included first and second doses.