OREANDA-NEWS. A new variant of the coronavirus with mutations that could potentially reduce the effectiveness of vaccines is spreading in American New York. This is reported by the New York Times, citing research by scientists from the California Institute of Technology and Columbia University.

The doctors named the discovered variant B.1.526. It is noted that for the first time it was detected in samples taken in the city back in November, and by mid-February it had already become quite widespread.

"We are seeing cases in Westchester, the Bronx, Queens and lower Manhattan, as well as Brooklyn. So it seems to be widespread. This is not an isolated outbreak," said Dr. David Ho, director of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center at Columbia University.

It is reported that the coronavirus spreading in New York also contains mutations that have already been identified in other countries, including South Africa.

Several different strains of coronavirus have already been identified in the world. Many bear similarities to the British, South African, Brazilian, or Japanese varieties.

In mid-December, it became known about the discovery in the UK of a new mutation of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. Although the new variant of the virus, according to preliminary estimates, may be 70% more infectious than the usual one, there is still nothing to suggest that it is more dangerous in terms of death or hospitalization. Another mutation, strain 501.V2, was first identified in South Africa in October.