Covid-19: US detects first new coronavirus variant case in Colorado

Washington, United States - Colorado Governor Jared Polis reveals the news on Twitter.

By Reuters, AFP

Published: Wed 30 Dec 2020, 2:10 AM

Last updated: Wed 30 Dec 2020, 3:18 AM

Colorado has discovered a case of a highly infectious coronavirus variant first detected in the United Kingdom, Colorado Governor Jared Polis said on Tuesday, the first known case in the United States.

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"Today we discovered Colorado’s first case of the Covid-19 variant B.1.1.7, the same variant discovered in the UK," Polis said on Twitter.

He attached an official statement from his office and state health officials that said the individual is a "male in his 20s who is currently in isolation in Elbert County and has no travel history."

The individual had no close contacts, the statement said, but the situation will continue to be monitored "very closely" and authorities are working to identify other potential cases through contact tracing.

The Washington Post reported that the Colorado case is the first known infection of the variant virus to be recorded in the United States. The first two variant cases on the North American continent were discovered in Canada over the weekend.

Fears have been raised by the new strain of Covid-19, which experts say is potentially more transmissible.

More than 3,000 cases of the variant have already been reported in the UK and dozens of countries in Europe and around the world, according to the EU health agency ECDC.

In South Africa, more than 300 cases of another variant have been recorded. Three cases of that strain variant have been confirmed in Europe -- two in the UK and one in Finland -- but all three have been connected to people returning from South Africa.

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