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Three Alabama residents test positive for new COVID-19 variant first detected in the UK

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Three Alabamians have tested positive for a new strand of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) that was first detected in the United Kingdom late last year.

The Alabama Department of Public Health reported Wednesday that B.1.1.7, which is a new and more highly transmissible COVID-19 variant, has been identified in two people from Montgomery County and one from Jefferson County.

ADPH said two of those three positive tests came from children under the age of 19 and the other is an adult.

UAB’s laboratory sequenced the specimens and identified them as the SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.1.7.

While this particular variant has been detected in at least 24 other states, including Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, and North Carolina, these are the first reported cases in Alabama.

ADPH released the following statement on the new variant in our state:

“Viruses mutate, and due to surveillance, it was expected that cases would be found in Alabama. At this time, many infectious disease experts and the CDC have indicated that the current vaccine should be effective against the U.K. strain. However, this is still being studied. Currently, the U.K. variant has not definitively been linked to worse outcomes of the disease. As this variant is recent to the United States, it is important to follow the outcome of persons infected with this variant.”

At least 293 other people in the United States have been infected with the B.1.1.7 variant.

This story via. WVTM 13


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