The Texas A&M University's Global Health Research Complex (GHRC) has announced that they have discovered a new locally grown variant they are now calling BV-1.
This variant has so far only been found in a single individual based on genome sequencing, however, due to the fact that this new variant shares mutations with other previously discovered novel strains that confer anti-body resistance, the scientists at GHRC thought it important to notify the worldwide scientific community regarding it's existence.
As reported by the GHRC, this new SARS-CoV-2 variant was found in a student who initially tested positive for the virus on March 5, 2021. This individual again tested positive on March 25, 2021, indicating that this new variant may cause longer term infection than the ancestral strain for the age group 18-24. However, since this is only a single data point, no conclusions can be drawn as of yet. This individual had mild symptoms that lasted from early March which resolved by April 2, 2021.
Despite a heightened ramp up of vaccinations around the US, there is still a significant percentage of the population that is vaccine hesitant. New cases and hospitalizations that had bottomed in mid-March, 2021, is now again on the rise. As of the end of the week on April 18, 2021, the seven-day average stands at 69,695 new cases, and 41,042 hospitalizations in the US.