South African variant of COVID-19 detected in Arizona, authorities say

Officials with the Arizona Department of Health Services say they have detected the so-called South African variant of COVID-19 in Arizona.

According to a statement issued March 26, AZDHS, along with the Maricopa County Department of Public Health and TGen, reported that COVID-19 strain B.1.351 was detected in two test samples from the state.

“According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this variant of SARS-CoV-2, which spreads at a faster rate, was first detected in the US in late January. The CDC has informed that currently licensed vaccines appear effective against this variant, “reads part of the statement.

AZDHS officials say it is typical for viruses to change by mutation as they continue to spread, and new variants are expected to occur over time.

“The discovery of this variant in the state is another reminder that Arizonans should get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible. They should also take precautions to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including wearing masks and maintaining a distance of 6 feet from those who are not members of your household, who wash their hands frequently and stay home when they are sick, “reads part of the statement.

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Symptoms of COVID-19

Symptoms of the COVID-19 coronavirus include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. These, of course, are similar to the common cold and flu.

Expect a common cold to start with a sore or itchy throat, cough, runny or stuffy nose. Flu symptoms are more intense and usually appear suddenly and may include a high fever.

Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear more slowly. They typically include fever, dry cough, and noticeable shortness of breath, according to the World Health Organization. A minority of cases develop pneumonia, and the disease is of particular concern to the elderly and those with other medical problems such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, or heart conditions.

COVID-19 Resources

CDC website for COVID-19 (in Spanish / in Spanish)

AZDHS website for COVID-19 (in Spanish / in Spanish)

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