Minnesota health officials over the weekend identified five cases of a coronavirus variant first identified in the UK, adding to the growing list of states that have confirmed cases of mutation and further concerns that the variant may already be widespread across the country. .
The UK variant, known as B.1.1.7, is “identified by genomic sequencing in positive samples from five residents of four different counties in the Twin Cities metro area,” Minnesota Department of Health officials said in a news release Saturday. , who noted that four of the cases were identified by public health officials, while the fifth was identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
None of the cases, aged 1
At least two of the cases have recently traveled abroad, although it is not clear where. One case had no recent travel, while the others had an “unknown” travel history, state health officials said.
A VARIANT OF CORONAVIRUS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM IS MOST LIKELY TO SPREAD AMONG THIS AGE GROUP, PROPOSE FOR A STUDY
Epidemiologists from the health department “are conducting repeated interviews about the cases to gather more information about how they were probably exposed and who their close contacts were. This investigation is ongoing,” officials said.
The B.1.1.7 mutation was first discovered in the UK a few weeks ago, but has since appeared in several US states, including Colorado, where it was first identified in the country, as well as in New York, California and Florida. , Georgia and Pennsylvania, among others.
Last week, the CDC said more than 50 cases of a mutated coronavirus strain had been identified in the United States.
COUNTRIES CAN EXTEND COVID-19 VACCINATIONS TO WIDER SUPPLY GROUPS, AZAR SAYS
The strain is thought to be more portable than COVID-19. At the time, however, experts seemed confident that existing coronavirus vaccines would work against the option.
Minnesota epidemiologist Ruth Linfield said in a statement that officials “expect to find the virus. [variant]”in the country.
“Knowing he’s here now doesn’t change our current public health recommendations,” she added.
“Although it is thought to spread more easily from one person to another, it has not been found to cause a more serious illness,” Linfield continued. “With RNA viruses, such as SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, new, more successful strains are not unexpectedly emerging.”
CLICK HERE FOR FULL CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE
“This virus really makes it difficult for people to know if they or the person next to them is infected – whether this strain or another strain – so we all have to do our part to protect ourselves and each other,” added Minnesota, director of infectious diseases Kris Ehresmann disease, in a statement.
So far, employees at Pfizer and BioNTech, companies whose candidate for the COVID-19 vaccine has proven to be very effective in late-stage clinical trials and the first device to receive urgent approval from the US Food and Drug Administration, have expressed confidence in its ability to protect from the load, while advertising the flexibility of the technology if tweaking is to be done.