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South African virus variant identified for 1st time in the US

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Corona Virus

In the United States, for the first time, a new coronavirus type identified in South Africa has been detected, with two cases diagnosed in South Carolina, state health officials said Thursday.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Protection said the two incidents do not seem to be related, nor do the individuals have a history of recent travel.

“That’s scary,” said Dr. Krutika Kuppalli, an infectious diseases physician at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, because it means there may be more undetected cases within the state. “It’s more widespread, probably.”

Dr. Brannon Traxler, DHEC Interim Public Health Officer, said in a statement that the introduction of this strain now growing in other countries indicates that’ the fight against this deadly virus is far from over.’ Although more vaccines against COVID-19 are on the way, stocks are still minimal. By realising that we are all on the front lines now, each of us must recommit to the war. Today, we are all in this.

Adults are the two persons afflicted with this variant; one is from the Low Country of South Carolina and the other from the area of Pee Dee, the state said, while withholding other details to protect their privacy.

With coronavirus variations spreading across the world, viruses are continuously mutating, but scientists are mainly concerned with the appearance of three of them. In the United Kingdom and Brazil, other versions first mentioned were previously confirmed in the U.S. These three variants could spread more quickly, researchers claim, and expected it was only a matter of time before they appeared here.

Scientists have reported tentative but alarming signs last week that some of the new mutations may modestly curb the potency of two existing vaccinations, although they emphasised that the shots already protect against the disease. And there are signs that some of the recent mutations are likely to undermine virus experiments and reduce the potency of such therapies.

In the United States, the coronavirus has now sickened millions and killed more than 400,000 persons.

While several European nations do thorough genetic profiling to identify these mutations, relatively little of this detective work has been undertaken by the U.S. But scientists have been swift to try to do something, and when they do, they spot these seemingly more infectious forms.

At least 315 cases of the U.K.-discovered strain have been identified in the United States by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These findings came from at least 28 nations, and health authorities think that by March it might become the dominant strain in the U.S. In at least 70 countries, the variant has been registered.

Earlier this week, health authorities in Minnesota confirmed the first U.S. outbreak of the variant found in Brazil. It was a human who travelled to the South American nation recently. In more than half a dozen nations, the variant of the virus has popped up.

In October, the version that was first observed in South Africa was described. It has been detected in at least 30 other countries since then.

Some studies show that the South African and Brazilian strains could be less susceptible to COVID-19 survivors’ antibody drugs or antibody-rich tissue, all of which help individuals fight the virus.

Health officials also fear that people might get COVID-19 a second time if the virus improves enough.

On Monday, President Joe Biden reestablished COVID-19 travel limits on most non-U.S. Brazil, U.K. tourists, South Africa as well. And at this time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that Americans not fly.

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Bo Byram is back. Nathan MacKinnon is returning. The Avalanche’s NHL-leading scoring clip is bound to surge.

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Bo Byram’s return sparks Avalanche in victory over Nashville Predators

Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said if rookie Bo Byram had shot quicker a couple of times on Saturday night, the dynamic young defenseman would have had three goals against Nashville.

Following Colorado’s 6-2 victory, Bednar also could have said if star center Nathan MacKinnon was in the lineup, the Avs could have reached seven goals for the fourth time in eight games.

Bottom line: Colorado proved in November that it is loaded offensively, and has the ability to become more dangerous when MacKinnon rejoins Byram in the lineup on Wednesday at Toronto. The Avs are 7-1 in MacKinnon’s latest absence and 5-1 without both MacKinnon and Byram this month.

They have averaged 5.4 goals in the past eight games to lead the NHL in scoring at 4.00. And their .750 winning percentage in November (7-2-1) is a club record.

What happens when MacKinnon follows Byram in rejoining the lineup in the next game on Wednesday at Toronto? Perhaps MacKinnon will realize he doesn’t have to be the superstar for this team to score more goals than it allows, and that diminished pressure will add to the team’s chemistry.

“He’s one of the best players in the world,” Mikko Rantanen, who had three goals and four points against the Preds, said of MacKinnon. “Getting one of the best players back to the team is only going to help us.”

Byram is certainly an important side piece, and he adds to what already is the NHL’s most multi-faceted blue-line corps.

Byram, who settled for the game-winning goal and four shots in logging 22:00 after missing six games with another concussion, was the second coming of Cale Makar against the Preds. That’s a big statement as Makar, the 2021 Norris Trophy finalist who is on an offensive tear, had seven goals and 12 points in his career-high six-game points streak.

Bednar had high praise for Byram for how quickly the 20-year-old returned to his dominant nature while coming off at least his third concussion of 2021.

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WATCH: Broncos’ Javonte Williams’ 9-yard touchdown run against Chargers

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WATCH: Broncos’ Javonte Williams’ 9-yard touchdown run against Chargers

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Dolphins crush Panthers behind Tua-Waddle connection, win fourth straight

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Dolphins crush Panthers behind Tua-Waddle connection, win fourth straight

The Miami Dolphins showed their midseason momentum is real and displayed what can become of the young Alabama connection of quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and receiver Jaylen Waddle.

In a key game to determine if the Dolphins could legitimately swing their sudden surge into a reinsertion in the AFC playoff conversation, they responded. Clicking on all cylinders in a 33-10 victory over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium, Miami won its fourth consecutive game.

The Dolphins, after starting 1-7, now find themselves at 5-7 with home games against the lowly New York Giants (4-7) and Jets (3-8) on the horizon and a path to getting back to .500 looking more and more realistic, especially after demoralizing the Panthers (5-7).

Tagovailoa completed just under 90 percent of his passes, going 27 of 31 for 230 yards and a touchdown. More than half of that passing yardage went to Waddle, the rookie wideout who finished with nine receptions for 137 yards and the touchdown. It all came against a Carolina pass defense that entered Sunday ranked No. 1 in the NFL.

The Dolphins defense held the Panthers to pedestrian numbers. Starting quarterback Cam Newton was 5 of 21 for 92 yards, two interceptions and a rushing touchdown. Star running back Christian McCaffrey was held to 35 rushing yards on 10 carries.

Miami finished outgaining the Carolina, 315-198. The Dolphins held the Panthers to 4 of 12 on third downs, forced three turnovers on defense and even scored on special teams.

A pair of second-quarter touchdowns gave the Dolphins a 21-7 lead. First, Waddle caught a 9-yard touchdown from Tagovailoa that followed an interception and return into the red zone by cornerback Xavien Howard.

Later in the half, Waddle’s 57-yard catch and run over the middle from Tagovailoa eventually set up running back Myles Gaskin to score on a direct snap for a 3-yard touchdown. It was one of two Gaskin rushing scores out of the Wildcat, adding on from 3 yards out again in the third quarter.

Before halftime, The Dolphins were in position to add to the two-touchdown lead, but it backfired when center Austin Reiter skipped a shotgun snap past Tagovailoa that Panthers linebacker Frankie Luvu recovered and ran the other way to the Miami 23-yard line. Receiver Isaiah Ford made a touchdown-saving tackle, but it left a second on the clock for a Zane Gonzalez 41-yard field goal. Miami led, 21-10, at halftime.

The Dolphins struck first on special teams when linebacker Duke Riley blocked a first-quarter punt deep in Panthers’ territory that cornerback Justin Coleman recovered for a touchdown. Riley also had a big third-down hit on Panthers receiver DJ Moore that forced the punt.

Carolina answered with a Newton 1-yard rushing touchdown that was set up by a long pass for 64 yards from Newton to Moore, who got open over the top on what appeared to be a miscommunication between Howard and fellow cornerback Byron Jones, both on the same side with no safety help.

Miami’s secondary recovered from there, intercepting Newton twice in the first half. Rookie safety Jevon Holland had the first one while Howard had the later one that set up the Waddle touchdown.

The Dolphins got to the Panthers’ 24-yard line on their opening possession, but former American Heritage High and FSU standout Brian Burns swooped past right tackle Jesse Davis for a strip-sack of Tagovailoa. Davis recovered the fumble, which was followed by a Michael Palardy punt to the Carolina 5-yard line before the Miami special teams score.

Aside from the Howard and Holland interceptions, cornerback Nik Needham had a diving interception late against Panthers backup quarterback PJ Walker. Jaelan Phillips had three sacks, and Emmanuel Ogbah and Christian Wilkins added one apiece.

Dolphins kicker Jason Sanders made a pair of fourth-quarter field goals, but he also missed an extra point off the upright.

Sunday’s game was only the seventh meeting all time between the Dolphins and Panthers. Carolina, a 1996 expansion franchise in the NFC, is Miami’s least-faced opponent in the NFL.

The Dolphins host the Giants next Sunday before their bye week.

This story will be updated.

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