It’s Here: The more contagious variant of coronavirus is in Georgia

The Georgia Department of Public Health says the more contagious variant of coronavirus — known as B..1.1.7 — which was first discovered in the UK, has been found in a patient in Georgia.

The variant was discovered during analysis of a specimen sent by a pharmacy in Georgia to a commercial lab.

The Georgia resident is an 18-year-old male with no travel history, and he is currently in isolation at home. The department of public health is working to identify close contacts of the individual and will monitor them closely and test them for the variant.

Preliminary information suggests that this variant is significantly more contagious than the SARS-CoV-2 virus. So far, there is no evidence that the variant causes more severe illness or increased risk of death.

“The emergence of this variant in our state should be a wake-up call for all Georgians,” said Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Katheen E. Toomey. “Even as we begin roll out of a COVID-19 vaccine, we must not let down our guard and ignore basic prevention measures – wear a mask, social distance and wash your hands frequently.”

For more information about COVID-19 https://dph.georgia.gov/novelcoronavirus or https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

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