Highly contagious COVID variant detected in Massachusetts; Health officials say Boston woman becomes ill after traveling to UK


The Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced on Sunday that the state had seen its first case of the first discovered COVID-19 variant in the United Kingdom.

Officials said the man who tested positive for this COVID version is a Boston-based woman in her 20s.

According to DPH, “personally developed symptoms in early January and tested positive for COVID-19”. “A genetic sample was sent by the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to an out-of-state laboratory to establish a monitoring procedure to identify COVID-19 variants. The results were reported to the State Public Health Laboratory on the last evening. “

The woman traveled to the United Kingdom and became ill the day after she returned. He tested negative before leaving the UK.

“The person was interviewed by the contactors at the time the initial positive results were obtained, and close contact was identified,” officials said. “She is now being re-interviewed by public health officials that the version has been identified as the cause of the disease.”

Monitoring testing for version B.1.1.7 is underway at the Massachusetts State Public Health Laboratory in collaboration with clinical clinical laboratories and academic partners. Monitoring involves genomic sequencing on portions of COVID-19 positive samples.

As of Sunday, there are 88 reported cases from 14 states in the United States.

“Given the increased communicability of this variant and the number of states and other countries finding infected cases, the department expects the variant to eventually arrive in Massachusetts,” DPH said. “Public health risk reduction measures are similar. Individuals must continue wearing masks or covering their faces while going out in public, maintain a 6-foot social distance, stay home when you are ill, and identify as a close contact if you have symptoms Go test. “

Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Sunday, public health officials are taking the mutation of COVID-19 very seriously, including a highly contagious strain that spreads across 50 countries and has become a major source of infection in the United Kingdom . Inauspicious “strains in Brazil and South Africa.

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