This State Has the Biggest Outbreak of the New COVID Strain

This area has the most cases of the new U.K. variant that's spreading across the U.S.

It is now known that the strain of the coronavirus that recently originated in the United Kingdom is also here in the United States. As of Jan. 7, the variant, which is far more transmissible than the current dominant strain in the U.S., is in eight states, but it's spreading the quickest in one state in particular: California. The new COVID strain, known as B.1.1.7, was first confirmed in the Golden State on Dec. 30 and has been spreading in the week since. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the highest number of cases of the U.K. variant recorded so far has been California, where at least 32 cases have been identified. National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins, MD, told The Washington Post on Jan. 6: "I would be surprised if that doesn't grow pretty rapidly." Read on for more on the spread of the new variant, and for more on what's next, check out Dr. Fauci Just Made This Scary Prediction About the U.K. COVID Strain.

The cases identified so far are largely focused in San Diego County, among patients ranging in age from 10 to 70. The first case of the new COVID strain in California was identified in San Diego County in a man in his 30s who had no recent history of travel, the Los Angeles Times reports. Twenty-four other cases have since been identified in San Diego County, per Politico, and there are four more suspected cases there, the Los Angeles Times reports. Additionally, two members of the same household in San Bernardino Country have also been diagnosed with the new variant.

In Los Angeles County, Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer, PhD, warned on Jan. 5 that it was a matter of when, not if, the new variant was discovered in other parts of the state. "We anticipate given how many people are testing positive here in L.A. County, that the variant is probably here," she said, according to Politico. "And as we continue to do testing, and the CDC does some testing on some of our samples, we're likely to find it."

Scientists have been monitoring the spread of the new variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus since early autumn when it was identified in the U.K. At that point, one in four cases in the country were believed to be due to the variant, which is now "estimated to be up to 70 percent more transmissible than the previously circulating form of the virus," according to a Jan. 5 report published in the medical journal The Lancet. By mid-December, this new strain was responsible for two-thirds of all new cases in London.

The good news is, "the new variant appears to be no worse than the previous dominant strain of SARS-CoV-2 in terms of the risk of hospital admission, severity of illness, or mortality," The Lancet reports. And the medical consensus is that existing vaccines will still work against it and can be easily tweaked to deal with further mutations. But it is far more contagious, so it's reaching more people in less time, increasing the pressure on hospitals, and emphasizing the need for as many people to be vaccinated as quickly as possible.

Read on to find out, in addition to California, where the new COVID strain is in the U.S. And for one sign of sickness you should know, If This Part of Your Body Hurts, You Could Have COVID.

Read the original article on Best Life.

1
Connecticut

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On Jan. 7, Connecticut confirmed two cases linked to the U.K. variant in individuals between the ages of 15 and 25, according to a series of tweets from Gov. Ned Lamont on Jan. 7. Both had traveled out of the state—one to Ireland and one to New York. And for more on what's to come with the virus, The CDC Just Issued This Grim Warning About the COVID Surge.

2
Texas

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A resident of Texas in his 30s was the first confirmed case of the new variant in the Lone Star State on Jan. 7. "The fact that this person had no travel history suggests this variant is already circulating in Texas," DSHS Commissioner John Hellerstedt, MD, said in a statement.

3
Pennsylvania

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Pennsylvania's Secretary of Health Rachel Levine, MD, also announced the first confirmed case of the COVID-19 variant in a local resident on Jan. 7. The positive individual had traveled internationally, and was isolated at home. They've only reported mild symptoms at this time. And for where the outbreak is currently the most dire, These 3 States Have the Worst COVID Outbreaks in the Entire World.

4
Georgia

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Georgia first identified the U.K. variant within its borders on Jan. 5. According to the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH), the strain was discovered in an 18-year-old man who had no recent travel history.

5
New York

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New York's first case of the U.K. strain of the virus was announced on Jan. 4, connected to a man who worked for N.Fox Jewelers in Saratoga Springs. Colleagues have been tested with authorities also appealing for customers who visited the store the week before Christmas to get tested. And for more on how one state is faring in the battle against COVID-19, check out Dr. Fauci Just Said This State's COVID Situation Is "Unimaginable".

6
Florida

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After a man in his 20s in Florida was diagnosed as carrying the new virus on New Year's Eve, Florida has now identified more than 20 cases of the variant, according to the CDC. And for more regular COVID updates, sign up for our daily newsletter.

7
Colorado

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Colorado was the first state in the U.S. to identify the U.K. variant in its local population when a man in his 20s with no travel history tested positive for it. Although this was the first confirmed case of the new strain in the country, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said that due to the fact that the patient hadn't traveled, it was unlikely that this patient was the first to contract it. And for a shocking outbreak that's happening in Colorado, check out This Beloved Burger Chain Is Suffering a Massive COVID Outbreak.

John Quinn
John Quinn is a London-based writer and editor who specializes in lifestyle topics. Read more
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