UC Irvine epidemiologist Sanghyuk Shin said he’s concerned about the variants originally discovered in the United Kingdom and South Africa. Shin said the UK variant “basically just took over in a very short period of time. … Shin’s colleague, UC Irvine epidemiologist Andrew Noymer echoed similar concerns about the new strain. “There’s a lot that we still don’t know about the variants. I mean b117 has been detected in San Diego County and Los Angeles County. So I think it’s a pretty good bet that it’s here,” Noymer said.