US detects first case of new Covid-19 variant in Colorado
London, Dec. 30, 2020 (AltAfrica)-The US state of Colorado has recorded what is reportedly America’s first case of the particularly infectious coronavirus variant that emerged recently in Britain, the governor said Tuesday.
Today we discovered Colorado’s first case of the COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7, the same variant discovered in the UK,” state governor Jared Polis tweeted.
He attached an official statement from his office and state health officials that said the individual is a “male in his 20s who is currently in isolation in Elbert County and has no travel history.”
Today we discovered Colorado’s first case of the COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7, the same variant discovered in the UK.— Governor Jared Polis (@GovofCO) December 29, 2020
The health and safety of Coloradans is our top priority and we will monitor this case, as well as all COVID-19 indicators, very closely. pic.twitter.com/fjyq7QhzBi
A report from the UK’s New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group said the rate of transmission was 71 percent higher than other variants with potentially increased viral load.
But there remains much to be learned about the new strain, and its discovery in the U.S., while not unexpected, will nonetheless trigger concern that infections and hospitalizations will rise as a result.
The individual had no close contacts, the statement said, but the situation will continue to be monitored “very closely” and authorities are working to identify other potential cases through contact tracing.
The Washington Post reported that the Colorado case is the first known infection of the variant virus to be recorded in the United States. The first two variant cases on the North American continent were discovered in Canada over the weekend.
Fears have been raised by the new strain of Covid-19, which experts say is potentially more transmissible.
More than 3,000 cases of the variant have already been reported in the UK and dozens of countries in Europe and around the world, according to the EU health agency ECDC.
In South Africa, more than 300 cases of another variant have been recorded. Three cases of that strain variant have been confirmed in Europe — two in the UK and one in Finland — but all three have been connected to people returning from South Africa.