First case of COVID-19 South African variant found in central Virginia

Richmond Public Schools says an employee has tested positive for COVID-19.
Richmond Public Schools says an employee has tested positive for COVID-19.(Coronavirus graphic)
Updated: Mar. 8, 2021 at 12:53 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - According to the Virginia Department of Health, the first case of the SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.351 has been identified in an adult in central Virginia.

VDH says the adult had no history of travel during the exposure period.

At this time, there is no evidence that infections with this variant cause more severe disease.

The B.1.351 variant, which first emerged in South Africa in late 2020, is associated with increased person-to-person transmission of COVID-19.

To date, the B.1.351 variant has been identified in 19 other U.S. states or jurisdictions.

Virginia has now identified a total of 11 cases of the B.1.351 variant and 31 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant, which was first identified in the United Kingdom.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been working with state public health, academic, and commercial laboratories to increase domestic strain surveillance capacity to sequence thousands of specimens every week.

This effort has greatly expanded our ability to detect and characterize emerging viral variants in the United States. CDC notified Virginia of the case that was identified through these efforts at a commercial laboratory.

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