A case of the coronavirus variant that was first identified in South Africa has been reported in Northern Virginia.
The Virginia Department of Health said Thursday that the first case of this variant was found in a sample from an adult resident who had no history of travel during the exposure period.
The variant, also known as SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.351, has been shown to be more easily transmitted from person to person. However, there is no evidence that infections with this variant cause a more severe case of COVID-19, the state health department said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been working with public health, academic and commercial labs to increase monitoring and sequencing of thousands of specimens every week. This case was identified at a commercial laboratory.
Currently, 20 cases of this variant and 49 cases of the variant that first emerged in the U.K. have been identified in Virginia.
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