A new, potentially concerning coronavirus variant has been identified in New York City and throughout the Northeast, researchers reported this week.

It's the latest in a string of variants that have emerged in countries around the globe.

You might remember that a UK variant of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) surfaced in December. Since then, scientists around their globe have kept tabs on several others identified in places like South Africa and Brazil. The concern is that certain variants could be more transmissible and perhaps more deadly, and that current vaccines won't sufficiently protect people.

So how troubling is this New York mutant? Here's the what we know so far.

The New York variant, dubbed B.1.526, bears a "unique set of spike mutations," which scientists at Columbia University say "could threaten the efficacy of current antibody therapies and vaccines." The team's preliminary findings were posted online Thursday and have yet to be peer-reviewed.

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