NYC variant doesn't cause more severe COVID-19 cases, early study suggests

The B.1.526 variant first found in New York City does not appear to cause more severe COVID-19 cases nor an increased risk of reinfection, according to early research the CDC published May 5. 

New York City health officials analyzed 9,765 virus specimens collected citywide between Jan. 1 and April 5.

The hospitalization rate for people infected with the B.1.526 variant was 4.3 percent, compared to 5.8 percent for those with the B.1.1.7 variant first identified in the U.K.

Overall, reinfections were rare. Researchers found no difference in possible reinfection rates among those infected with the U.K. or New York City variant. 

Researchers cautioned the data is preliminary and only covers about 3 percent of all COVID-19 cases in the city during the study period, according to The New York Times.

"Because relatively few specimens were sequenced over the study period, the statistical power might have been insufficient to detect modest differences in rates of uncommon outcomes such as breakthrough infection or re-infection," they wrote.

To view the full study, click here.


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