The South African variant of coronavirus was present in Maryland, says Governor Hogan

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A transmission electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2, also known as the 2019 novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the United States. Note the crown-like tips on the outer edge of the virus, hence the term “coron” (NIAID-RML)

The South African variant of coronavirus, known to be more resistant to COVID-19 vaccines, has been identified in Maryland, Governor Larry Hogan said on Saturday.

The case was reported in an adult in the Baltimore area.

The patient was not traveling internationally, which made transmission by the local community likely.

“State health officials are closely monitoring the B.1.351 variant of SARS-CoV-2 in the state,” Governor Hogan said in a statement. “We strongly encourage Marylanders to exercise particular caution to limit the additional risk of transmission associated with this variant. Please continue to practice normal public health and safety measures, including wearing masks, washing hands regularly, and distancing yourself.”

RELATED: Coronavirus Variant From South Africa Detected In The United States For The First Time

The South African variant of coronavirus was first reported in the United States on Thursday when officials announced two cases in South Carolina.

As with other coronavirus mutations, the South African variant is believed to be more contagious than the first strain of COVID-19, but not necessarily more dangerous.

There are at least five coronavirus mutations worldwide.

Previous studies have shown that the South African variant is more resistant to existing COVID-19 vaccines.

Health officials like Dr. However, Anthony Fauci claim that drug manufacturers can adapt vaccines to newly emerging coronavirus strains.

RELATED: South African variant of coronavirus “very significant problem,” says UK Health Secretary

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