Updated April 6, 2021
A new COVID-19 variant that is thought to be behind rising COVID-19 cases in India has been detected in California’s Bay Area. The Stanford Clinical Virology Lab identified the so-called “double mutant” variant through genomic sequencing of coronavirus tests. “At this point we don't know yet how concerning this double mutant is,” says Timothy F. Murphy, MD, SUNY Distinguished Professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases and senior associate dean for clinical and translational research. “Cases are increasing in India, but they’re not spreading rapidly … Should we be concerned about this? Yes. But how much is unclear right now,” he says.