RICHMOND, Virginia (WRIC) – The Virginia Department of Health announced that the first case of the South African variant of COVID-19 has been detected in an adult resident in the northwestern region of the state.
The VDH said the person who tested positive for the variant had no travel history to the virus during the exposure period.
The SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.351, which first appeared in South Africa at the end of 2020, shows an increased transmission of COVID-19 from person to person. According to the VDH, however, there is no evidence that infected with this variant will lead to a more severe case of the disease.
1. Case of a COVID-19 variant from South Africa identified in Eastern Virginia
The health department said that four cases of this variant have now been identified in the state and 20 cases of variant B.1.1.7, which was first identified in the UK.
Since viruses often mutate, the health department expects new variants of SARS-CoV-2 to spread. For this reason, the VDH said it was important for the Virginians to comply with mitigation measures to stop the spread of these new varieties.
“We are in a race to stop the spread of these new varieties,” the announcement said. “The more people infected, the more likely the virus will mutate and create a variant that could undermine current vaccination efforts.”
To prevent the virus from spreading, they recommend wearing the face mask properly, staying three feet away from others, avoiding the crowds, getting vaccinated when it is your turn, and staying home if you have COVID -19 get.
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