A new, more contagious strain of COVID-19 has been detected in two more states, meaning the strain has been introduced in about a dozen states across the county.
Officials in 12 states have confirmed the presence of the B.1.1.7 strain of SARS-CoV-2 in their areas.
The B.1.1.7 strain was first discovered in the United Kingdom in late 2020. While the strain is not thought to be deadlier than other forms of COVID-19, the strain is known to spread more rapidly and more easily than the original strain of the virus.
“We already know that COVID-19 is easily transmitted through respiratory droplets, and with this new variant appearing to be even more infectious, taking preventative measures like wearing a mask and physically distancing are even more important,” Wisconsin DHS Secretary-designee Andrea Palm in a press release.
Officials in Ohio say that the strain of virus found in their state contains the same mutation as the U.K. strain, but add that it likely mutated through spread in the U.S.
Officials say the mutating strains of COVID-19 mean it is more important than ever to follow public health procedures like social distancing, hand washing and wearing a mask when outside of the home.
STATES WHERE THE NEW STRAIN HAS BEEN FOUND
- New York