First U.S. cases of South African SARS-CoV-2 variant reported in S.C.

South Carolina has reported the first documented U.S. cases of the SARS-CoV-2 variant first detected in South Africa, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced today.

“CDC is early in its efforts to understand this variant and will continue to provide updates as we learn more,” the agency said. “At this time, we have no evidence that infections by this variant cause more severe disease. Like the UK and Brazilian variants, preliminary data suggests this variant may spread more easily and quickly than other variants.”

Among other preventive measures to slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, including this variant, CDC recommends people avoid travel, wear masks, stay at least 6 feet apart and wash their hands often.