The U.K. COVID Strain Is Now in These 15 States
More states are discovering evidence of the new, more contagious U.K. COVID strain.
A new strain of the coronavirus found in the U.K. in December has been wreaking havoc across the pond, forcing the country into another lockdown on Jan. 4. While researchers are racing to find out more about this new variant, known as B.1.1.7, scientists have confirmed that it's far more transmissible than the previous dominant strain, likely by 50 percent. Due to its contagiousness, it's no surprise that the new strain has quickly made its way into more than 30 other countries, including the United States. So far, the U.K. strain has been found in 15 states, a number that is likely to grow—on Friday, Jan. 15, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) predicted the U.K. strain will become the dominant variant in the U.S. within two months. Keep reading to find out about the cases found in these states thus far, and for more news on the mutation, Dr. Fauci Just Issued This Stern Warning About the U.K. COVID Strain.
Read the original article on Best Life.
On Jan. 15, the Utah Department of Health (UDOH) confirmed the state's first case of the U.K. variant. The patient is a 25-44 year old man from Salt Lake County who tested positive last month who had no known travel outside of Utah and experienced only mild symptoms. The U.K. variant was identified through the Utah Public Health Laboratory's ongoing genetic sequencing of positive COVID-19 samples.
"We fully anticipated we would find this strain in Utah," Angela Dunn, MD, state epidemiologist at the UDOH, said in a statement. "We know this strain is more transmissible than previous COVID-19 variants, and our hospitals continue to operate near or over capacity. So now more than ever, Utah residents need to wear masks, practice physical distancing, and avoid large gatherings." And for more ways to stay safe, Stop Doing This Immediately to Avoid the New COVID Strain, Doctors Warn.
On Jan. 13, New Mexico identified its first case of the U.K. coronavirus strain. According to the New Mexico Department of Health, a man in his 60s who recently traveled to the U.K. in December tested positive for the B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant. "He is currently recovering from very mild illness; no hospitalization was required," the health department said in a statement.
Last week, Nebraska's chief medical officer predicted the U.K. variant was in the state. "We can all say with some certainty that it's most likely… here in Nebraska," Gary Anthone, MD, said—and now, it's been confirmed. According to the CDC's data as of Jan. 15, Nebraska has confirmed one case of the B.1.1.7. variant. And for more on where the virus is spreading, check out This Is How Bad the COVID Outbreak Is in Your State.
Wisconsin is one of the latest states to have identified the U.K. variant, per a statement from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) on Jan. 13. The state identified the new strain "through ongoing surveillance and whole genome sequencing," they said. However, the DHS has declined to reveal how many patient samples were found with the strain or where it has been located within the state, The Journal Times reported. According to the CDC, only one case has been confirmed.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan confirmed on Jan. 12 that two Maryland residents had tested positive for the new COVID strain. The two cases came from a married couple living in the same household in Anne Arundel County. Before the couple's infection, one spouse did travel internationally, Hogan noted. And if you're trying to stay safe, The CDC Says Do These 7 Things Every Day to Avoid COVID.
Indiana identified the new U.K. COVID strain on Jan. 11, according to a statement by the state's health department. "It's common for viruses to mutate, and we are seeing that occur with COVID-19," State Health Commissioner Kris Box, MD, said in the statement. "Because this strain of the virus can be transmitted more easily, it's more important than ever that Hoosiers continue to wear their masks, practice social distancing, maintain good hygiene and get vaccinated when they are eligible."
Minnesota only recently reported the new COVID strain, but it's actually the earliest state to have identified it. According to the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID), the earliest known positive sample in the U.S. was taken from a person in Minnesota on Dec. 18, as reported by CNN. On Jan. 9, the Minnesota State Health Department announced that it had identified five cases in the state, all within the Twin Cities metro area. And for more about the mutation, Dr. Fauci Says This Is What's Most "Concerning" With the Newest Strain.
Connecticut has confirmed two cases of 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 of the infected individuals reside in New Haven County, and they both traveled outside of Connecticut recently—one to Ireland and the other to New York state.
A Harris County resident in his 30s with no recent travel history was the first confirmed case of the U.K. strain in Texas, according to the Texas Department State Health Services (DSHS). "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 on Jan. 7. "This should make us all redouble our commitment to the infection prevention practices that we know work: masks any time you're around people you don't live with, social distancing, and personal and environmental hygiene." The state has since identified one other case of the B.1.1.7. variant, according to the CDC. And for signs you might be sick, If This Part of Your Body Hurts, You Could Have COVID.
Pennsylvania's Secretary of Health Rachel Levine, MD, confirmed that an individual from Dauphin County had tested positive with the U.K. COVID variant after known international exposure. In a statement on Jan. 7, Levine said that the state "has been preparing for this variant" by sending samples for genetic sequencing biweekly to the CDC since November. But this is the first time it's been identified.
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.
"The emergence of this variant in our state should be a wake-up call for all Georgians," DPH Commissioner Kathleen E. Toomey, MD, said in a statement. "Even as we begin roll out of a COVID-19 vaccine, we must not let down our guard and ignore basic prevention measures—wear a mask, social distance and wash your hands frequently." And for more on how to get rid of the virus, check out This Temperature Can Kill COVID in Minutes, New Study Says.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the state's first discovery of the U.K. strain on Jan. 4. The variant was found in a man from upstate, who worked for N. Fox Jewelers in Saratoga Springs. Then, on Jan. 12, Cuomo revealed that 12 total cases of the variant had been identified in the state, NBC New York reported. Two more of the cases were related to the jewelry store, one was discovered separately on Long Island, and two were identified as New York City residents—one in Manhattan and the other in Queens. It has not yet been reported where the other six cases occurred.
Florida was the third state to identify the new coronavirus variant. On Dec. 31, the Florida Department of Health announced that a man in his 20s in Martin Country came down with the new strain, despite having no recent history of travel. Now, according to the CDC, Florida has at least 22 cases of this new variant. And for more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.
At the start of the month, California only had six confirmed cases of the U.K. coronavirus strain; now, there are 40, according to the CDC. The first California case was identified on Dec. 30 in a San Diego County man in his 30s who had no recent history of travel. Twenty-four other cases have since been confirmed in San Diego County and four more are suspected, the Los Angeles Times reports. Two members of the same household in San Bernardino Country have also been diagnosed with the new variant. It is not clear where the other 10 cases were.
The first reported case of the U.K. variant in the U.S. was found in Colorado in late December. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reported on Dec. 30 that the strain was identified in a man in his 20s who was isolated in Elbert County. This man had no prior travel history, leading Gov. Jared Polis to surmise that although the state was the first to identify the new strain in the country, it was unlikely that he was the first to contract it—which has now been proven with Minnesota's news. Since Colorado's first discovery, four other cases of the variant have been found in the state, according to the CDC. And for more coronavirus concerns to consider, If You Take These OTC Meds, You Have to Stop Before Getting the Vaccine.