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First US Cases Of New Coronavirus Strain From South Africa Detected In South Carolina

(Photo by MICHELE SPATARI/AFP via Getty Images)

Dylan Housman General Assignment & Analysis Reporter
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Two cases of the new highly-contagious South African coronavirus strain have been detected in South Carolina, marking the first confirmation that the strain is in the United States.

The two infected adults are not connected to each other and neither has traveled to South Africa, according to the Wall Street Journal. This suggests the strain has been circulating in the area for an unknown period of time.

The three “variants of concern,” mutations of COVID-19 from South Africa, the United Kingdom and Brazil, have now all been found in the United States, the WSJ reported. (RELATED: Gov. Cuomo Says ‘Incompetent Government Killed People’ While NY Has Second Highest COVID-19 Death Rate)

Moderna and Pfizer have both said their vaccines work against the U.K. and South African strains, but that they may be less effective against the latter. Scientists have warned the South African variant appears to be more infectious than others that have been in circulation up to this point.

The CDC has reported that the U.K. strain is spreading rapidly in the U.S., and just days before discovering the South African variant, the presence of the strain from Brazil was first confirmed in Minnesota. Experts have warned the U.K. version of the virus could be the dominant form in the United States as soon as March.