Doctors have diagnosed a Virginian as having the new strain of the coronavirus.
An adult in Northern Virginia tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.1.7, the strain that emerged in the UK late last year, according to the Virginia Department of Health.
VDH says that this strain is associated with increased person-to-person transmission of COVID-19.
“Viruses change all the time, and we expect to see new strains as disease spreads,” said State Health Commissioner Dr. Norm Oliver. “We know this variant strain spreads more quickly between people than other strains currently circulating in our communities, but we still have more to learn about whether it causes more severe illness. As our state public health officials closely monitor the emergence of the B.1.1.7 variant in our Commonwealth, it is important that all Virginians continue following mitigation measures.”
Virginia is now the 23rd state to have a case of this new COVID strain, according to the CDC.
In the United States, nearly 200 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant have been detected in 23 states as of Jan. 22.
While scientists are working to better understand its impact on vaccine efficacy, early data suggests currently authorized vaccines are effective against the new variant, according to VDH.