Rapidly-spreading COVID-19 variant currently ravaging India makes first appearance in the US — in children with no recent travel history

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Credit: Manish Swarup/AP
Credit: Manish Swarup/AP

Scientists [at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center found] two cases of the variant first detected in India using “next-generation sequencing technologies along with targeted PCR testing,” a news release said. 

Officials with Dallas County said the two people who tested positive for the variant were under the age of 12 and were not vaccinated. They also had no recent travel history. 

UT Southwestern has been sequencing the virus present in all COVID-19 positive samples they’ve received in their lab over the past few months to track what variants are appearing in North Texas, which they say has been about 120 samples per month. Researchers say the variant first detected in the UK remains dominant among most of those variant cases.

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The release from the medical center said experts are concerned by the local appearance of the variant first detected in India.

“It is believed to be more transmissible than the original variant, but studies regarding more severe disease or mortality have not been performed,” the release said. “The Indian variant is not listed as a Variant of Concern by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but is by the World Health Organization.”

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