What we know about the new COVID-19 strain found in Southern California

Health officials at hospitals across Southern California are desperately trying to find out more about the person who tested positive for the COVID-19 variant first detected in the United Kingdom, and also in Colorado. 

The 30-year-old man from San Diego was tested Tuesday and has no history of recent travel. However, health officials expect more positive cases will soon follow. 

The spread rate, according to UK Health Officials, spreads a much faster rate. In fact, 70% faster, but it’s not as virulent so it seems to be no more deadly than the COVID-19 version they have been dealing with. 

The new vaccines do seem to be effective against it, says Dr. Anthony Faucci.

Still, for hospitals and medical centers already overwhelmed with the post-Thanksgiving surge, and expecting another surge from Christmas, there is a sense of dread. They keep asking the public to wear masks and self-quarantine, even as parts of the public still seem resistant.

"We barely have enough IV pumps, let alone respirators," says one hospital official.

What does that say about our medical system's preparation for the virus? The answer is that somehow, no one predicted this much of a surge.

With a much more contagious version, there may be no other option.

Furthermore, depending on the public following directives like not to gather with family they don’t live with, may prove futile.

In the long run, many health officials say that it will take a national approach to make sure that hospitals are ready for pandemics, disasters and any crisis that results in large numbers of sick people, and casualties.

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