SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — A medical center in Louisiana says it has identified the state's first two cases of a COVID-19 variant which has spread widely since being identified in India.

Britain and the World Health Organization consider it a variant of concern because experts think it may spread more easily than the original virus.

LSU Health Shreveport said Friday that the two samples were among more than 2,600 for which it has decoded the genome.

It says that's 56% of Louisiana's genomic surveillance. Overall, it has processed 331,000 tests, and 7,600 were positive.

That's less than 5% of Louisiana's total tests and less than 2% of the positive tests in the state.

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