UK variant now in Wisconsin, New Mexico

The U.K. variant known as B.1.1.7 has been identified in Wisconsin and New Mexico, confirming the more transmissible strain's presence in at least 13 states. 

Wisconsin's public health department identified its first case of the U.K. variant Jan. 12, reports local ABC affiliate WISN.. The Eau Claire County patient in which the strain was identified had traveled internationally within two weeks before testing positive, according to the Wisconsin State Journal. 

Ryan Westergaard, MD, PhD, CMO of Wisconsin's health department, told the Journal it's likely there are more undetected cases of the variant, adding that less than 1 percent of test samples in the state undergo the whole genome sequencing process needed to identify the strain. Local health officials are now conducting contact tracing. 

In New Mexico, the B.1.1.7 variant was detected in a man from Bernalillo County Jan. 13, local ABC affiliate KOAT reports. The man, in his 60s, traveled to the U.K. in December and is recovering from a mild infection. He did not require hospitalization. 

More articles on public health:

Ohio uncovers new COVID-19 variant
COVID-19 hospitalizations climbed 760% for US children in 22 states last year
States ranked by percentage of COVID-19 vaccines administered: Jan. 13


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