US detects first case of COVID-19 variant in Colorado

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The primary reported US case of the COVID-19 variant that’s been seen in the UK has been found in Colorado, Governor Jared Polis introduced Tuesday.

The variant was present in a person in his 20s who’s in isolation southeast of Denver and has no journey historical past, state well being officers stated.

The Colorado State Laboratory confirmed the virus variant, and the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention was notified.

Scientists within the UK imagine the variant is extra contagious than beforehand recognized strains. The vaccines being given now are considered efficient towards the variant, Colorado well being officers stated in a information launch.

Public well being officers are investigating different potential circumstances and performing contact tracing to find out the unfold of the variant all through the state.

“There’s a lot we don’t learn about this new COVID-19 variant, however scientists within the UK are warning the world that it’s considerably extra contagious.

Individuals stroll previous a roadside public well being info signal, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, in London, UK, December 29, 2020 [Toby Melville/Reuters]

“The well being and security of Coloradans is our prime precedence, and we are going to carefully monitor this case, in addition to all COVID-19 indicators, very carefully,” Polis stated.

Polis and state well being officers are anticipated to carry a information convention on Wednesday.

The invention of the brand new variant led the CDC to challenge new guidelines on Christmas Day for travellers arriving in the US from the UK, requiring they present proof of a unfavourable COVID-19 check.

Fear has been rising in regards to the variant since Saturday, when British Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated a brand new pressure of the coronavirus appeared to unfold extra simply than earlier ones and was transferring quickly by England. The nation’s first variant case was recognized in southeast England.

Dozens of nations barred flights from the UK, and southern England was positioned below strict lockdown measures. Scientists have stated there may be cause for concern however the brand new strains shouldn’t trigger alarm.

Japan introduced Monday it might bar entry of all nonresident international nationals as a precaution towards the brand new pressure.

Vaccine issues

New variants of the coronavirus have been seen virtually because the virus was first detected in China practically a 12 months in the past. It’s common for viruses to bear minor modifications as they reproduce and transfer by a inhabitants. The slight modifications are how scientists observe the unfold of a virus from one place to a different.

But when the virus has vital mutations, it’s anxious that present vaccines would possibly now not provide the identical protections. Though that could be a chance to look at for over time with the coronavirus, consultants have stated they don’t imagine it is going to be the case with the newest variant.

President-elect Joe Biden stated that it might take years for many People to be vaccinated for the virus at present distribution charges.

President-elect Joe Biden delivers a speech after a convention video name targeted on international coverage at his transition headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware on December 28, 2020 [Jonathan Ernst/Reuters]

Biden’s prediction of a grim winter appeared aimed toward decreasing public expectations that the pandemic might be over quickly after he takes workplace on January 20, whereas additionally sending a message to Congress that his administration will wish to considerably enhance spending to expedite vaccine distribution, develop testing and supply funding to states to assist reopen colleges.

Biden stated some two million folks have been vaccinated, effectively wanting the 20 million that outgoing President Donald Trump had promised by the top of the 12 months.

“As I lengthy feared and warned, the trouble to distribute and administer the vaccine isn’t progressing because it ought to,” Biden stated in Wilmington, Delaware. On the present price, “it’s going to take years, not months, to vaccinate the American folks.”

The variant has additionally been present in Canada, Italy, India and the United Arab Emirates.