February 17, 2021
State Public Health Authorities Announce First Identification of South African COVID Mutant in Massachusetts
The Massachusetts Public Health Service (MDPH) today announced the first case of a federal-identified B.1.351 COVID-19 variant. Sequencing completed at the Broad Institute on behalf of DPH confirmed the first mutant identified in South Africa.
The case is a woman in her twenties living in Middle Sex County. She has no travel reports.
B.1.351 variants are known to spread easily. The Massachusetts Public Health Institute is working with many medical and academic partners to quickly identify variants of concern by sequencing a subset of positive samples.
Two other variants of concern are the B.1.1.7, which was first discovered in the United Kingdom, and the P.1 variant, which was first detected in Brazil.
Currently, there are 34 cases of B.1.1.7 variants in Massachusetts. There is no confirmed case on P.1.
The best defense against the proliferation of cases due to variants of concern is to prevent the spread of COVID.
New information from the CDC shows that improving mask fit and filtration can help reduce the spread of the virus. The fit of the mask can be improved by using a mask with a nose wire, using a mask fitter, tying ear loops and pushing in the sides. Mask filtration is improved by using multiple layers. For more information on how to use masks to protect yourself and others Improves mask fit and filtration to reduce the spread of COVID-19 | CDC..
Other important public health measures that can help prevent the spread of COVID include social distance (6 feet away from others), avoiding groups, staying home when sick, and having symptoms. COVID, which includes being tested for, or identified as close contact with someone, and vaccinated when it’s your turn.
For more information on variations of concern A new variant of the virus that causes COVID-19 | CDC Track presence in both Massachusetts and the United States. USCOVID-19 Cases Caused by Variants | CDC..
This press release was created by Shrewsbury Town.. The views expressed here are those of the author himself.
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