US confirms first case of latest Covid pressure found in UK

A 20-something man from Colorado is the primary American recognized to be contaminated with a new variant of coronavirus that emerged this fall within the UK, elevating concern {that a} extra transmissible pressure may unfold extensively throughout the nation.

The Colorado State Laboratory confirmed the affected person had the mutated type of the virus, often known as B.1.1.7, and knowledgeable the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention, Colorado Governor Jared Polis mentioned in an announcement on Twitter.

The person has no latest journey historical past, difficult well being officers to seek out the potential supply of an infection and determine others who could also be in danger. He’s at present in isolation in Elbert County, positioned midway between Denver and Colorado Springs.

“There’s a lot we don’t find out about this new Covid variant, however scientists in the UK are warning the world that it’s considerably extra contagious,” Polis mentioned within the assertion. “The well being and security of Coloradans is our high precedence and we’ll intently monitor this case, in addition to all Covid-19 indicators.”

The brand new variant is regarded as 56% to 70% extra transmissible than different strains of the virus and is contributing to a spike in circumstances within the U.Ok. It isn’t believed to be extra lethal than the unique pressure chargeable for Covid-19, which has contaminated 81.9 million folks worldwide and killed 1.8 million of them.

The pressure has been recognized in additional than a dozen nations, together with Canada. CDC officers mentioned final week that it was probably the pressure had already made its option to the U.S. and that identification of sufferers was only a matter of time.

The emergence of a mutated model that might speed up the unfold of the illness comes simply as public well being officers worldwide are rolling out vaccinations towards the pathogen in hopes of shutting down the pandemic. Whereas the immunizations are anticipated to stay efficient towards the brand new pressure, its sooner transmission ratchets up the race to get folks protected against the virus earlier than they grow to be contaminated.

On Dec. 24, the Trump Administration mentioned it was requiring passengers flying from the U.Ok. to point out proof of a adverse take a look at for coronavirus. Areas from Hong Kong to Canada have quickly suspended journey from the U.Ok.

The brand new variant was chargeable for 62% of Covid-19 infections in London within the week ending Dec. 9, up from 28% in early November, in response to Paul Hunter, a professor of medication on the College of East Anglia’s Norwich Faculty of Medication.

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