MADISON, Wisconsin – Health authorities have confirmed that a more contagious variant of COVID-19, first identified in the UK, has reached Wisconsin.
The variant referred to as B.1.1.7 was identified on Tuesday, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health. There is no evidence that the new option causes a more serious illness or risk of death.
“We already know that COVID-19 is easily transmitted through respiratory droplets, and as this new variant looks even more contagious, taking preventative measures such as wearing a mask and physically distancing is even more important,” said DHS-appointed Andrea Palm. .
Officials said the variant was identified through routine observation and genome sequencing.
“Mutations among viruses are very common. It’s not uncommon – it’s actually expected. Over time in the pandemic and the virus continues to replicate on a large scale, the genetic sequence of the virus will change, “said Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ryan Westergaard.
The variant was first discovered in the United States in Colorado about two weeks ago.
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