Texas well being officers determine state’s first case of latest Covid pressure present in UK
Medical employees look at a affected person affected by coronavirus within the COVID-19 intensive care unit (ICU) at United Memorial Medical Heart on November 16, 2020 in Houston, Texas.
Go Nakamura | Getty Photos
Texas public well being officers introduced on Thursday that they’ve recognized the state’s first case of a brand new, extra contagious variant of the coronavirus that was initially found in the UK.
The affected person, a person between the ages of 30 and 40 with no current journey historical past, was found in Harris County, dwelling to Houston, the county’s public well being division stated in a press release. The person was isolating and in secure situation, and native infectious illness specialists are tracing all of his contacts to search out and monitor different folks he could have uncovered to the virus.
It is seemingly that the variant is already circulating in Texas, as a result of the person had no prior journey historical past, Dr. John Hellerstedt, the commissioner of the Texas Division of State Well being Companies, stated in a press release. He added that genetic variations in viruses “are the norm,” and it is not shocking that the variant was found in Texas contemplating how quickly it spreads.
“This could make us all redouble our dedication to the an infection prevention practices that we all know work: masks any time you are round folks you do not dwell with, social distancing, and private and environmental hygiene,” Hellerstedt stated.
The pressure, which has also been found in California, Georgia, New York, Florida and Colorado, is considered extra transmissible however does not seem to make folks extra in poor health or improve the danger of loss of life from Covid-19, specialists have stated. Earlier on Thursday, Pennsylvania well being authorities stated they recognized their state’s first case with the brand new variant, generally known as B.1.1.7.
Harris County Decide Lina Hidalgo, the county’s prime elected official, stated in a tweet on Thursday that the invention of the variant within the space is “disturbing” given the already speedy unfold there.
As of Thursday, the county remained in its most extreme risk degree, “degree one,” which implies testing and make contact with tracing efforts are strained and outbreaks are “current or worsening,” in keeping with the county’s website.
When the county is on this degree, residents are suggested to solely depart their houses for important functions and decrease their contacts with different folks when doable.
Officers from the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention have stated that the present vaccines ought to work in opposition to the brand new variant, although extra hospitalizations might happen whether it is allowed to unfold unchecked. Federal well being officers are additionally looking out for a second separate new strain, first recognized in South Africa.
The CDC doesn’t but understand how widespread the brand new B.1.1.7 variant is in the USA. The company now requires all airline passengers touring to the USA from the UK to current, earlier than boarding, proof of a destructive Covid-19 take a look at taken not more than three days earlier than their departure.
— CAutopresse.eu’s Will Feuer contributed to this report.