HDOH finds new variant

The state’s Department of Health reported the first detection of the SARS-CoV-2 variant L452R on Monday, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have projected to become the dominant strain of the virus this spring.

The DOH’s Laboratories Division confirmed the variant yesterday, which was first detected in Denmark last March. The strain was detected in one person who traveled to the Mainland on O‘ahu and one person on Maui who did not. The cases were not related, officials said.

“Hawai‘i is not immune to new strains,” DOH Director Dr. Elizabeth Char said in a statement. “The arrival of L452R reminds us we must wear masks, maintain physical distance from people outside our immediate households, and avoid crowds. These safe practices coupled with COVID-19 vaccines will help us stop the spread.”

Monday afternoon, Gov. David Ige said the state’s second-test system developed for Safe Travels discovered the variant. The state’s State Laboratories Division began genome sequencing in June looking for possible COVID-19 variants, the release said. It now examines 75 specimens a week and has developed a testing algorithm designed to find variants.

“We do have a surveillance system in place and our state lab is taking samples and looking for variants because we know that’s an important function,” Ige said. “I’m glad that our surveillance system did identify this variant because it demonstrates that we are working very hard so that we can identify any new introduction of variants here in the islands.”

While the L452R variant has been linked to a growing number of cases in California, the state reported that “science has not shown the L452R variant spreads more quickly or poses a greater threat than other COVID-19 strains,” the release said.

“We don’t believe this new variant is more deadly or more easily transmittable than the other variants, but we want to make sure that we can be on top of it should it become an issue,” Ige said.

Dr. Sarah Kemble, the acting state epidemiologist, said the department is contacting other states that have identified this variant.

“It is common to find variants to viruses like COVID-19. Some present greater risks than others,” Kemble said in a statement. “We are working with our colleagues in other states as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to learn more about the characteristics of this particular variant.”

The B.1.1.7 variant first found in the United Kingdom and the B.1.351 variant first found in South Africa both have enhanced transmissibility, but neither of these have been detected in Hawai‘i.

Monday, the state reported 123 new COVID-19 infections. No new cases were reported on Kaua‘i, which has three active cases that are all in isolation.

The state also identified 60 previously unreported COVID-19 related fatalities, which brings the state’s death toll to 402.

These deaths were reported through a review of the department’s Electronic Death Registration System, which found deaths in the latter part of last year including 51 on O‘ahu, six on Hawai‘i Island and three on Maui.

  1. I saw a Vampire once January 26, 2021 1:43 am Reply

    The vaccines that are out are the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. So far I can only speculate the MLB star Hank Aaron died of other complications stemming from the side effects of taking the vaccine for COVID-19. He died about 2 weeks after taking it. And another article there was a doctor in Miami who died taking the Pfizer-BioNTech. He was a family man. The new variant strain that they discovered, though contagious has no affect on a person’s ability to ward off or the vaccine’s ability to suppress or stop the virus. Meaning it does not nullify the vaccine’s effect to suppress the virus or decreases the bodies immune system to fight against it. Will the vaccine be enough to fight the virus, even with new variant strains being detected?

  2. A Gain January 26, 2021 8:46 am Reply

    Virus have been mutating into variants year to year as their own inborn survival needs dictate if not over generations but millions of years as nature would dictate..mutation variants going on for millions of years just like their bacterial cousins undergo as well.

    Why would it be a surprise to modern formerly trustable scientists.

    For our Health Dept to think they are just now discovering variants in virus is rather naive or ignorant or part of pre planning to demand new vaccines for each new variant for the “sheeple” to swallow, or literally be experimental gene therapy injected with.

    It must be said that their fake naive ignorance about new variants is a great way to introduce new seasonal Experimental Gene Therapy via anti virus variant pseudo “vaccines”. That’s not ignorance, that’s brilliance.

    After all are we all under control yet? Beware of the Gift Bearing Vaccine Deliverer in Sheep Herder’s clothing, year after coming years.

    No worry, over time it will just become routine, and the Gates will open to make it that way. Hey we have another variant, better run down to the Experimental Gene Therapy Center and get another Injection so you won’t suffer a rejection or insurrection about your travel plans to ever see your family again.

    And don’t tell me it’s a conspiracy to divide and conquer when it’s really all just a coincidence…that we’re entering a new wave of silent (it didn’t even hurt,) injected sheeple controlling Experimental Gene Therapy.

    Just stay home will be a mere side effect of control and loss of freedom the Founding Fathers never could have conceived of in those ancient days of the 1770’s.

    And to be sure you’re safe after injection we are going to monitor your Gene Absorbance for 15 minutes, because Fauci has declared the former safeguards of 2 years of vaccine monitoring for ill side effects is no longer necessary; but virus escaping and entering inefficient face masks and silly 6’ social distancing in a breeze or windstorm eliminating human nature hand shakes and hugging will no longer be tolerated in the new pseudo vaccine era error, never mind your UN-goggled eyes are.a virus portal of entry into the human body. After all those who make their frontline and livings from disease don’t want this money making blown out of all proportion and the disease laden walking dead need to blame their deaths on something other than themselves and their accepted un-well Disease Care.

    So buckle up, strap yourself in, roll up your sleeve, it’s GEEZE time, and Experimental Gene Therapy time, and time again. This ride will keep you from having to think again because your genes will program your every move and thought.

    We went from primates to Neanderthal to Cro-Magnon to Homo-Sapien, now it’s time for taking a chance, will we go forward, or backward, or like virus, will we just randomly mutate with our new Experimental Gene Therapy into variants of Our former selves as Human Beings.

    Just when American Society was enjoying Peace and Prosperity and family time, now we are confronted with a new un-Known; will we have to fear it, or steer around it.

    Ho Hum, at least it will be televised.

    1. Leslie January 27, 2021 7:58 am Reply

      Great post thank you.

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