Though Covid-19 cases have been on the decline across the United States, Los Angeles County has continued to report new strains.
Los Angels, the most populous country in the US, reported cases of both the Brazil and South African variants, public health officials said.
Although the strains first detected in California (B.1.427/429) have been dominant in the past in Los Angeles County, the most common circulating variant of concern in the metropolitan area with over 10 million residents is now the one detected in the UK (B.1.1.7), news agency IANS reported.
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Of the 40 specimens analysed by the Los Angeles County Public Health Laboratory in the past week, 53 per cent were the B.1.1.7 variant and none were the B.1.427/429 variants.
The lab also detected six cases of P.1 variant which was first found in Brazil and one infection with the South African strain, the Department said.
Brazil and South African Strains
It noted that the identification of these variants and the news of spreading variants from across the globe highlights the need for Los Angeles County residents to continue to take measures to protect themselves and others and it's particularly true for those who are not vaccinated against Covid-19.
Currently Available Vaccines Highly Effective
Public health Officials pointed out in the update that recent research findings provide added evidence that the currently available vaccines appear to be highly effective against the variants of concern that are circulating here now.
Officials cited a new study by the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) which showed that over the last few months, during a period when the current viral variants have been circulating widely, vaccines reduced the risk of getting infected with Covid-19 by 94 per cent among fully vaccinated healthcare workers.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reported 265 new cases and 14 deaths on Saturday, increasing the overall infection tally up to over 1.23 million with 24,166 related fatalities.