VDH: First case of UK COVID-19 variant found in Central Virginia

VDH: First case of UK COVID-19 variant found in Central Virginia
The Virginia Department of Health has identified Central Virginia’s first case of the B.1.1.7 variant, the stain was first identified in the United Kingdom in late 2020. (Source: Coronavirus graphic)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The Virginia Department of Health has identified Central Virginia’s first case of the B.1.1.7 variant, the stain was first identified in the United Kingdom in late 2020.

Health officials said it was identified in a sample from a Central Virginia resident who did not have any travel history during the exposure period.

The strain is associated with an increased person-to-person transmission rate. A preliminary report from experts in the UK indicates that the strain also caused more severe illness, but more studies are being done.

In addition to this case, eleven other cases of the B.1.1.7 variant and three cases of the variant from South Africa have been identified in Virginia as of Feb. 24.

“Viruses change all the time, and VDH expects to see new variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus as disease spreads. As our public health officials closely monitor the emergence of these SARS-CoV-2 variants in our Commonwealth, it is critical that all Virginians comply now with mitigation measures,” VDH said.

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