Californian strains of COVID-19 reported in Tijuana and Mexicali

There is a possibility that one of these variants was the cause of the second wave of COVID-19 in the state.

Photo by: Barbara Zandoval en Unsplash

As part of his report, the head of the Secretariat of Health in Baja California, Alonso Perez Rico, reported on the follow-up of the SARS-CoV-2 strains in the state, which cause COVID-19.

As he confirmed, the two variants that have been observed in this territory are those originated in California, United States: B.1.427 and B.1.429, which have a 20% increase in transmissibility. The first was identified in patients from Mexicali by genetic sequencing, while the second was recorded in 25% of patients from Tijuana, between November 2020 and January 2021, through allele-specific PCR-TR tests, with which the S13I, W152C and L45FR mutations were detected.

According to the Secretary, this test allows the identification of antigenic variants, which are the causes and origins of the spikes in cases in the communities. He also pointed out that the B.1.429 variant, "surely was the cause, precisely, of the second wave in our territory".

Perez Rico, said that for the moment no cases have been confirmed with the UK variant (B1.1.7) or the South African variant (B.1.351); however, he indicated that Baja California already has the allele specific PCR tests to continue sampling. "We have specific alleles for B1.1.7, for B.1.351 and for P1 which is the Brazilian one; then when one of these comes out we will let the State know," he said.

It is worth mentioning that both the UK and South African variants are reported to transmit 50% faster and are more lethal. And in the case of the South African variant, some studies say that it decreases the effectiveness of vaccines.

Finally, the Secretary of Health asked the population to continue taking care of themselves and to take preventive measures against COVID-19, since the Californian variants are catalogued as "of concern", so despite having had coronavirus or having been vaccinated, you can become infected again, and even the medicines used the first time, may no longer have an effect in the second infection with a variant.

Related video: Canirac invites Baja California not to lower its guard and to reinforce sanitary measures.


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