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Third confirmed coronavirus variant is reported in Texas

Coronavirus

DALLAS (AP) — A third confirmed case of a variant of the coronavirus was been reported Saturday in Texas by Dallas County Health and Human Services.

The agency reported Saturday that a Dallas man in his 20s with no history of travel outside the United States has tested positive for the variant that was first identified in the United Kingdom and known as B.1.1.7.

Texas is among a handful of states with at least one known case of the new variant, but state health officials say there is no evidence it causes more severe disease, and say current vaccines are expected to still be effective.

“The emergence of strain B.1.1.7, while inevitable given the mobility of the modern world and the fact that we are a major transportation hub, means that there is a strain that is 70% more contagious in our community and it will grow quickly,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said.

Texas reported a Houston-area man as its first case of a person infected with the new variant on Jan. 7.

The state health department on Friday reported more than 2 million cases and more than 31,00 deaths since the pandemic began.

Copyright 2020 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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