First 2 US cases of South African COVID variant found in SC (Source foxcarolina.com) DHEC said their labs on Wednesday detected the first two known cases in the United States of the COVID-19 variant strain that recently emerged in South Africa. DHEC said as viruses mutate, variants emerge. DHEC’s labs have been monitoring positive cases closely for any variations in the virus strain and detected this South African variant in tests conducted on Wednesday. The samples were determined to be the B.1.351 variant.
The B.1.351 variant has been identified in more than 30 countries but these are the first cases of this variant identified in the United States. Other states have had cases of another, called B.1.1.7, originally identified in United Kingdom. Both variants originally detected in the United Kingdom and South Africa spread easier and quicker than the majority of SARS-CoV-2 variants.