Coronavirus variant found in Denmark is increasingly common in NorCal, health officials say

California
Registered Nurse Allison Shiftar puts on protective glasses as she gets ready to go into one of the triage rooms to care for a COVID-19 positive patient in the emergency department at Sutter Roseville Medical Center in Roseville, Calif. on Dec. 22, 2020. (Renee C. Byer/The Sacramento Bee via AP, Pool)

Registered Nurse Allison Shiftar puts on protective glasses as she gets ready to go into one of the triage rooms to care for a COVID-19 positive patient in the emergency department at Sutter Roseville Medical Center in Roseville, Calif. on Dec. 22, 2020. (Renee C. Byer/The Sacramento Bee via AP, Pool)

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.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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