Colorado man tests positive for more contagious variant of coronavirus found in U.K.
The man, who is in his 20s and lives in Elbert County, has no travel history. His infection appears to be the first known case of the variant in the United States.
A Colorado man has tested positive for a variant of COVID-19 that has raised alarms in the United Kingdom because it is thought to be a more contagious strain of the disease.
The man’s infection appears to be the first known case of the variant, which is said to be 70% more transmissible, in the United States.
The man, who is in his 20s and lives in Elbert County, has no travel history, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said Tuesday. That indicates the man was infected by someone else in Colorado who has contracted the variant.
State health officials say they are doing a “thorough investigation” and that the man is recovering in isolation.
“There is a lot we don’t know about this new COVID-19 variant, but scientists in the United Kingdom are warning the world that it is significantly more contagious,” Gov. Jared Polis said in a written statement. “The health and safety of Coloradans is our top priority and we will closely monitor this case, as well as all COVID-19 indicators, very closely. We are working to prevent spread and contain the virus at all levels.”
CDPHE says its lab is the first in the U.S. to “quickly identify the variant,” known as B.1.1.7. Scientists in the U.K. believe the strain spreads more freely, but that it doesn’t cause more severe symptoms.
“The fact that Colorado has detected this variant first in the nation is a testament to the sophistication of Colorado’s response and the talent of CDPHE’s scientist and lab operations,” Jill Hunsaker Ryan, executive director of the CDPHE, said in a written statement. “We are currently using all the tools available to protect public health and mitigate the spread of this variant.”
To read the rest of the Colorado Sun article, click here.
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