Nearly 350 cases of COVID-19 in Hawaii have been caused by a variant strain of the novel coronavirus, according to data provided Friday by the state Department of Health.
B.1.1.7, which was originally found in the United Kingdom, has the N501Y mutation that is associated with increased transmissibility.
B.1.351, or the South African variant, has the N501Y mutation associated with increased transmission, as well as the E484K mutation, which makes antibodies a person may have after a vaccination or prior COVID-19 infection less effective.
“The antibodies are not going to work quite as well against this B.1.351 variant, the South African variant,” Desmond said.
B.1.429, the California variant, has the L452R mutation, which is associated with increased transmission, and antibodies also are “slightly less effective” against this strain.
variant and 2% were the B.1.351 South African variant.
Statewide, there have been 302 cases of the B.1.429 strain, 37 of the B.1.1.7 and seven cases of the B.1.351, for a total of 346 variant cases, according to data from the DOH.
Desmond said a new strain found in India has two mutations of concern, E484Q — which is similar to the E484K mutation — and L452R, both of which are associated with reduced effectiveness of antibodies