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First case of more contagious COVID-19 variant confirmed in Dallas County

Coronavirus

HOUSTON, TX – DECEMBER 14: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) A medical staff member Tiffany Price adjusts a ventilator circuit on a patient in the COVID-19 intensive care unit (ICU) at the United Memorial Medical Center on December 14, 2020 in Houston, Texas. According to reports, Texas has reached over 1,480,000 cases, including over 24,500 deaths. (Photo by Go Nakamura/Getty Images)

DALLAS (KDAF) – The first case of a new, more contagious COVID-19 variant has been confirmed in Dallas County, according to county officials on Saturday. 

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins issued a statement identifying the patient as a Dallas man in his 20s.

“If we don’t do all that we can now to renew our efforts to control spread, the new variant will cause an overrun of our hospitals and lengthen the time before we can beat COVID and return to our pre-COVID activities,” Jenkins said.

The man is said to have no recent history of travel outside the U.S. According to health officials, the man is currently in isolation and is said to be doing okay.

Two other cases of variant B.1.1.7 were found in Harris County and Nueces County earlier this month, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it has been found in at least 10 states, including California, Colorado, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Connecticut, and Florida. The CDC warned this week that the new, more infectious variant first seen in Britain will probably become the dominant version in the U.S. by March.

The CDC said it is about 50% more contagious than the virus that is causing the bulk of cases in this country so far. The newly discovered variant does not seem to lead to increased severity of infection, according to the WHO.

Health officials are confident the current COVID-19 vaccines approved vaccines are effective against this variant strain.

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