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First confirmed coronavirus mutant infection in southwestern Idaho




Boise, Idaho — Health officials in Idaho have identified the first known infection in a person with a variant of the virus that causes COVID-19 in Gemstate.

The Idaho Ministry of Health and Southwestern District Health Department say a South African variant was found in an adult male living in southwestern Idaho and confirmed by laboratory tests.

The test identified a B.1.351 mutant of SARS-CoV-2, which was first discovered in South Africa in late 2020. This is the first infectious disease identified in Idaho with a known variant of concern for the COVID-19 virus.

To date, 19 infections with this particular variant have been reported in 10 states. According to health officials, the man recently traveled abroad and is believed to have been exposed to the virus before returning to Idaho. No other information about the man or his condition has been released.

Epidemiologists at Southwest District Health are working with Health and Welfare to identify close contacts that may have been exposed to this person. Health officials say they will provide guidance to those identified as having close contact and carefully monitor for symptoms.

“It’s not surprising to find this virus in Idaho,” said Dr. Christine Hahn, director of health care for the public health department. “As we learned Boise City Wastewater Test Program Mutant strains arrived in the state this week. We remind Aida Juan to wear a mask, keep a physical distance, wash his hands frequently, and stay home when he is ill. In addition to being vaccinated when available, these actions are the best we can do now. “

Public health officials in Idaho are actively investigating suspected infections caused by SARS-CoV-2 mutants. The Idaho Institute (IBL) continues to increase the number of sequenced Idaho samples to identify new strains and better understand how the virus is spreading in the state.

This variant was identified in the first SARS-CoV-2 sample sequenced by IBL. It works with clinical laboratories, public health districts, and providers to increase the number of Idaho samples sequenced, identify emerging strains of concern, and limit their spread. ..

In Idaho, 290 Idaho samples are sequenced and published in databases nationwide. As a result, it is shared nationwide. 86 samples are being processed, including 36 samples in IBL.

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