Woman ‘first to die in US from super-Covid’ as THIRD homegrown 'highly contagious' American strain is found

A WOMAN is the "first to die in US from super-Covid" as a THIRD homegrown "highly contagious" American strain has been found.

Felicia Parker, 40, passed away at a Houston hospital on Saturday, five days after she was admitted with breathing problems.

Word of the mom-of-two's death came as scientists on Wednesday reported a third new variant of the deadly virus has been discovered.

Details of the third strain were published pre-print in the journal bioRxiv, The Daily Mail first reported.

Scientists traced the new variant, called 20C-US, in the southern US in late May 2020.

"We predict that 20C-US may already be the most dominant variant of SARS-CoV-2 in the U.S.," scientists wrote.

The paper said it's predicted the variant "may now account for the majority of U.S. Covid-19 cases."

Scientists added: "While clear evidence is lacking, it is plausible" that the new strain represents a Covid "variant with higher transmissibility but miler illness."

"Such variants could conceivably generate a fitness advantage for the virus as they are more likely to spread quietly," the paper continued.

As the third variant was found, testing confirmed Parker had contracted Covid variant B 1.1.7, which has been dubbed "Super Covid" because it is feared to be up to 70 percent more transmissible.

The Evangelist minister first fell ill over the holidays, and relatives say they are clueless as to how she contracted the strain of the disease, which has now spread to at least 12 states.

Relative Romeka James told news network KTRK that Parker first fell ill over the holidays and had recently been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

“This is serious. This is not just another person. This is someone's mother, someone's sister,” James said.

“We have to be really safe, we have to follow the CDC guidelines. It's not just another number. It's somebody.

“She was admitted to the hospital last Monday. She was gone already by Saturday.”

A GoFundMe account has been set up for Parker, who did not have life insurance, and relatives are organizing a funeral for the “amazing and loving” woman on January 23.

One person, paying tribute to Parker, wrote: “She always had a warm smile and an encouraging word to share with everyone she encountered. A mighty and powerful woman of God that wasn't ashamed to share her faith.”

Another described her as an “angel.”

At least 76 "Super Covid" infections have been detected in 12 states, according to the latest national data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The states are: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Minnesota, Maryland, Wisconsin, New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas.

But while the strain is more transmissible, doctors say it is not more deadly, although it is now likely to be present in more states.

The US has also now detected two homegrown "super-Covid" variants that are more infectious than the most common coronavirus types.

One variant was discovered in Columbus, Ohio, and has three mutations that are unlike those seen in the UK and South Africa strains. 

Ohio State University scientists detected this variant last month and it was found in about 20 samples, but it has since spread and is present in most samples that experts are sequencing. 

Meanwhile, the second variant has mutations that are exactly the same as those of the UK strain.

However, the variant sprung in the US on its own.

“It has a variant backbone that is in common with the UK and South African variants, but is separate,” Ohio State University scientist Daniel Jones said, according to the Daily Mail. 

"We are now in a period where the virus is changing quite substantially,” Jones said, adding that scientists are concerned about its spread. 

So far, one person in the US has been found to have the second variant.

Scientists do not think the Columbus variant is more deadly, but are tracking the health of people who have been infected by it. 

It is not yet clear whether the Covid-19 vaccines are effective against the new variants.

The two new “super Covid” strains are spreading in Ohio as the country experienced 4,327 deaths on Tuesday and has a seven-day average of more than 3,200 deaths daily. 

More than 380,000 Americans have died since the beginning of the pandemic, a figure that exceeds the number of deaths in the last 10 flu seasons combined. 

The “super Covid” UK variant, which is also very infectious, has been reported in 10 states. 

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