Massachusetts has become a hotspot for a new virus variant of COVID-19.
SARS-CoV-2 has one or more mutations that differentiate it from the predominant coronavirus already circulating, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
The CDC has been tracking these mutated COVID-19 viruses around the country. On Friday, March 5, Massachusetts was the state with the 10th most incidents of COVID-19 variants reported. There have been 3,390 instances of SARS CoV-2 in Massachusetts since January 2020, the CDC said.
The states that have endured the most COVID-19 virus variants are California (21,892 cases), Texas (21,325 cases), and New York (12,188 cases).
States that have encountered the fewest variants are Vermont (79 cases), South Dakota (100 cases), and Montana (192 cases).
For the most part, the CDC is tracking variants with the specific names that originated in other countries: B117 from the United Kingdom, P1 from Japan/Brazil, and B1351 from South Africa.
COVID-19 variants have been found to spread more quickly than the already speedy standard virus strain. The current COVID-19 vaccine is said to be effective against virus variants, but Pfizer and Moderna are reportedly in discussions or working on updates to better address the mutated virus, the BMJ reported.
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