Two lineages of a coronavirus variant first detected in California have been classified as “variant[s] of concern” (VOC) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with the agency citing an estimated 20% increased transmissibility over the wild-type strain.The variant, dubbed B.1.427/B.1.429 or 20C/L452R, comes in addition to three other already-classified VOCs first identified in South Africa, Brazil and the U.K. An update to the CDC’s webpage cites preliminary research published ahead of peer review from researchers affiliated with the University of California San Francisco, including Dr. Charles Chiu.The study notes the variant was detected in 459 of 2,172 sampled genomes, or about 21%. The first reported case of the variant occurred in July in Los Angeles, though sequence analysis suggests it likely emerged in May 2020. This variant includes a key unique mutation dubbed L452R not seen on other concerning variants, among other mutations.CORONAVIRUS: NURSE ALLEGEDLY CAUGHT STEALING VACCINES IN MICHIGANChiu took to Twitter to share news of the new characterization, writing in part: “the B.1.427/B.1.429 variant from California has been elevated to a VOC by the CDC.”Chiu previously explained the findings to Fox News last month, before the strain reached the level of VOC. “I am worried, concerned but not panicking

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