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More contagious British coronavirus mutant detected in Lake County

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A more contagious and potentially deadly British variant of the coronavirus was detected in Lake County.

County Public Health Officer Dr. Gary Pace identified two local cases of this variant, with a second UK strain appearing in the North Coast region following a positive case in Sonoma County in early March. Said.

The California Public Health Service sent virus samples from residents who tested positive in mid-February to state laboratories to screen for mutated versions of the virus before discovering a subspecies infection in Lake County. The state warned the county on Tuesday about the confirmation of COVID-19 shares.

According to Pace, the county is working to identify ways and locations where the two may have been infected with the virus, but the case is six weeks old, making it difficult to track down the infection. He was unable to provide additional information about the incident.

The discovery of a variant known as B.1.1.7 in Lake County is due to concerns that national health officials may soon become the predominant strain of the virus nationwide. As of Friday, more than 12,000 cases have been identified in 51 cities, states, or US territories. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention..

In the Bay Area, health officials in Santa Clara County announced Thursday that they had identified 92 local cases of British variants.

The CDC has classified this strain as a “variant of concern.” evidence It is about 50% more infectious than the original strain of coronavirus, indicating that it is likely to be fatal. However, this variant does not appear to be more resistant to the COVID-19 vaccine.

With the expansion of vaccine eligibility to residents aged 50 to 64 in California on Thursday, Pace described it as “a competition to stand in front of variants” and emphasized the importance of shooting arms. According to local public health data, more than one-third of residents over the age of 16 receive at least one COVID-19 vaccine in Lake County.

Health officials are urging people to continue wearing masks, avoid large gatherings, and maintain a cautious social distance as viral infections are beginning to increase again nationwide.

In Lake County and the wider north coast, cases are flat or slightly declining. In the past week, Lake County recorded an average of 4.2 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people, according to state data, but exceeded 66 cases per 100,000 at the local peak of the December pandemic. I did.

You can contact the staff writer Ethan Varian ([email protected] or 707-521-5412). @Ethanvarian on Twitter

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