Saturday, January 16, 2021

The U.K. coronavirus mutation has arrived in Michigan

Posted By on Sat, Jan 16, 2021 at 3:34 PM

click to enlarge A visualization of the coronavirus. - SHUTTERSTOCK
  • Shutterstock
  • A visualization of the coronavirus.

A new mutated form of the coronavirus that's 50% more transmissible than the original and raised alarm after emerging in the United Kingdom has arrived in Michigan, according to the state's health department.

The variant, known as B.1.1.7. was identified on Saturday in an adult woman living in Washtenaw County who recently traveled to the U.K., according to a press release from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Close contacts of the woman have been identified and are in quarantine.

"The discovery of this variant in Michigan is concerning, but not unexpected," Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at MDHHS, said in a statement. "We all have a personal responsibility to slow the spread of COVID-19 and end this pandemic as quickly as possible. We continue to urge Michiganders to follow a research-based approach by wearing their masks properly, socially distancing, avoiding crowds, washing their hands often, and making a plan to get the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine once it is their turn."

To mutated virus has been identified in at least 16 other states and jurisdictions in the U.S.

It is believed the new COVID-19 vaccines will work against the mutation, as well as the same safety measures used to fight the original strain: wear a mask keep six feet of distance between you and other people, interact with only one other household, and wash your hands frequently.

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