“Today we discovered Colorado’s first case of the [Covid-19] variant B.1.1.7, the same variant discovered in the UK,” Governor Jared Polis tweeted on Tuesday, saying that it was found in a male patient in his 20s with no travel history.
Colorado’s health authorities have not found any close contacts that the man could have exposed to the virus, but “are working to identify other potential cases and contacts through thorough contact tracing interviews,” according to Polis.
The Colorado State Laboratory, which identified the strain – a first confirmed case of the fast-spreading Covid-19 variant on US soil – has notified the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) of the discovery.
While the spread of the new Covid-19 variant to the US has been made official with Colorado’s discovery, it has long been suspected that the mutant strain could have been circulating in the population for quite some time already.
Last Tuesday, the CDC said that the reason the new variant had not been found in the US at the time is that a miniscule portion of all the US coronavirus cases have their genome decoded.
“Viruses have only been sequenced from about 51,000 of the 17 million US cases,” CDC said, adding that “the variant could already be in the United States without having been detected.”
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