New COVID variant discovered in Spokane County

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CDC is closely monitoring the progression of new coronavirus variants in the US Variant B.1.351, first identified in South Carolina, has now appeared 21 times in 10 states, while variant P. 1 that was first found in Minnesota was reported. five times in four states. But there is another strain, B.1.1.7, that is sounding the alarms: As of February 18, up to 1,523 cases have been reported in 42 states.

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SPOKANE, Wash. – A new variant of the coronavirus has been discovered in Spokane County through genome sequencing.

The Spokane Regional Health District said one case of the COVID-19 variant B.1.427 and four cases of B.1.429 have been discovered. This variant was initially detected in California in July 2020.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have said that this variant is concerning, as early research suggests that it may be more infectious and could potentially cause more serious illness than the initial dominant strain of SARS-CoV-2.

“Finding variants in our community doesn’t change the way we respond,” said Dr. Frank Velázquez of the interim Health Office. “It reinforces the need for everyone in our county to be diligent in complying with health measures. Wear a mask, wash your hands, physically move away, and avoid large gatherings where distancing is not possible. “

Velázquez said the most effective way to combat mutations is to stop transmissions, which can be done by getting vaccinated, distancing yourself socially and wearing a mask.

On May 1, all people age 16 and older in Washington will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

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