The first reported U.S. case of the COVID-19 variant that’s been seen in the United Kingdom has been discovered in Colorado, Gov. Jared Polis announced Tuesday, adding urgency to efforts to vaccinate Americans.
The variant was found in a man in his 20s who is in isolation southeast of Denver in Elbert County and has no travel history, state health officials said.
Elbert County is a mainly rural area of rolling plains at the far edge of the Denver metro area that includes a portion of Interstate 70, the state’s main east-west highway.
Colorado Politics should not cause alarm.
Japan announced Monday it would bar entry of all nonresident foreign nationals as a precaution against the new strain.
New variants of the coronavirus have been seen almost since the virus was first detected in China nearly a year ago. It is common for viruses to undergo minor changes as they reproduce and move through a population. The slight modifications are how scientists track the spread of a virus from one place to another.
But if the virus has significant mutations, one concern is that current vaccines might no longer offer the same protections. Although that’s a possibility to watch for over time with the coronavirus, experts say they don’t believe it will be the case with the latest variant.
The U.K. variant, known as B.1.1.7, has also been found in Canada, Italy, India and the United Arab Emirates.
South Africa has also discovered a highly contagious COVID-19 variant that is driving the country’s latest spike of confirmed cases, hospitalizations and deaths. The variant, known as 501.V2, is dominant among the newly confirmed infections in South Africa, according to health officials and scientists leading the country’s virus strategy.
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1st reported US case of COVID-19 variant found in Colorado (2020, December 30)
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