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Wisconsin identifies second patient with U.K. COVID-19 variant

(Terri Russell)
Published: Feb. 9, 2021 at 10:37 AM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) - State health officials say they’ve identified a second case in Wisconsin of a coronavirus variant first discovered in the United Kingdom.

The Department of Health Services (DHS) says the case of the variant, known as B.1.1.7, was found on February 6. The first case was identified on January 12. “In reality, there are likely many more cases of this variant in Wisconsin,” said Dr. Ryan Westergaard, chief medical officer in the DHS Bureau of Communicable Diseases.

The U.K. variant was first detected in England in November last year. Researchers say it’s more contagious and spreads more rapidly than the original SARS-CoV-2 strain that originated in China in 2019. The DHS adds, “There is some evidence emerging that the new strain may cause an increased risk of death.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says so far there’s no evidence that a person vaccinated against COVID-19 has any less protection against this new strain.

State health officials are reminding people how important it is to be vigilant against COVID-19 and continue safe practices: Wearing masks, maintaining a social distance, or staying home, washing hands frequently, and getting vaccinated as soon as you’re able.

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