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South African Covid Variant Detected for the First Time in U.S.

  • Mutation known as B.1.351 found in two South Carolina patients
  • Concerns rise that more mutations may evade vaccines
A United Airlines Covid Testing Site At SFO As California Deaths Rise
Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Two cases of the coronavirus variant that first raised alarms in South Africa have been found in South Carolina, marking the first confirmed instance of the mutation in the U.S.

The arrival of the South Africa variant, known as B.1.351, follows the appearances of separate mutations spawned in the U.K. and Brazil. The U.K. variant has been found in more than 20 American states. The Brazil variant was identified for the first time in the U.S. this week, in a Minnesota resident who recently returned from a trip to that country.