- Florida hospitals, private companies, universities and Florida’s Bureau of Public Health laboratories all conducted tests that found COVID-19 variants have been spreading around the central part of the state for months, according to The Orlando Sentinel.
Though many consider the delta variant to be a new mutation, it has actually been in the Sunshine state for a few months.
- The state has been conducting its own genome sequencing tests, which has allowed experts to find that variants, including alpha, beta, delta and gamma, have been spreading around the state, per The Orlando Sentinel.
Florida variant spreads in Miami
The news of variants spreading in Florida comes as officials announced that the B.1.621 variant — originally discovered in Colombia — has made its way to Florida, according to The Washington Post. The variant reportedly makes up 10% of COVID-19 cases in that part of the state right now, WPLG reports.
Dr. Peter Hotez, dean for the National School of Tropical Medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine, said the Florida COVID-19 variant might be the “zeta” variant because it has mutations similar to other variants.
- “I don’t think it has a Greek letter designation yet but based on these properties and the fact that we allowed it to take hold due to low vaccination rates in the South, (and their place in the Greek alphabet), I propose ζ,” he said.