First case of COVID-19 variant from South Africa present in Virginia: Governor – NBC4 Washington
The first case of a COVID-19 variant from South Africa was diagnosed in Virginia, Governor Ralph Northam said on Friday.
The case was identified by a private laboratory, Northam said. He did not immediately notice where the patient lived or if he had an up-to-date travel history.
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The South African variant – also known as the B.1.351 variant – has not been shown to cause more severe illness or an increased risk of death when compared to other strains. However, the variant could be more transferable than other variants, NBC Washington reported.
“These variations make it imperative to get as many people vaccinated as quickly and fairly as possible,” said Northam.
Viruses mutate to survive, and less transmission means fewer opportunities for new variants to develop, pediatrician Northam said. Health interventions like wearing a mask, social distancing, and hand washing are still the best ways to stay healthy.
Virginia has also counted four cases of a coronavirus variant from the United Kingdom.