A strain of coronavirus first identified in Denmark is becoming increasingly common in hospitals and jails in Northern California and the Bay Area, according to the state’s Department of Public Health.
The variant, L452R was identified in viral genomic sequencing of outbreaks, including one that began Christmas Day in Kaiser’s San Jose Medical Center that infected 15 patients and at least 74 staffers. One Kaiser staffer has died. Ten of the infected people were found to have the variant, according to a Kaiser spokeswoman.
The variant was also found in some patients in several large outbreaks where the rate of infection among those who were exposed was very high, according to a Santa Clara County Public Health Department news release.
But scientists are not yet prepared to say whether this variant spreads more rapidly than others.
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