U.K. COVID-19 variant found in Summit County

COVID-19 virus illustration. Image: Pixabay/BlenderTimer

SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah, Feb. 1, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Health officials announced Monday that the third instance of the B.1.1.7 COVID-19 variant, frequently referred to as the “U.K. variant,” has been identified in Summit County.

The virus was found in a COVID-19 sample from a Summit County woman, whose age is between 25 and 44, according to health officials. No other information was made available about her case, including when exactly she was diagnosed, the severity of her symptoms, or her travel history, according to the Summit County Health Department.

COVID-19 is caused by a virus known as SARS-CoV-2, and researchers refer to the U.K. variant as B.1.1.7.

A Salt Lake County man was found to have Utah’s first known case of the variant, officials announced on Jan. 15. The patient, whose age is between 25 and 44, had not traveled outside Utah, officials said.

“The case was discovered through ongoing genetic sequencing of positive COVID-19 samples by the Utah Public Health Laboratory (UPHL),” a statement from the Utah Department of Health said.

The man, who tested positive in December, had only mild symptoms of the highly contagious variant, the statement said.

“We fully anticipated we would find this strain in Utah,” said Dr. Angela Dunn, state epidemiologist at the UDoH, in the prepared statement. “We know this strain is more transmissible than previous COVID-19 variants. So now more than ever, Utah residents need to wear masks, practice physical distancing, and avoid large gatherings.”

COVID-19 vaccines currently approved for use are believed to be effective against this strain.

No details have been given about the second person thought to have contracted the B.1.1.7 COVID-19 variant.


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