More Contagious COVID Variant Confirmed in 3rd State

B117 variant was found in Florida man in his 20s
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 1, 2021 8:55 AM CST
Florida the 3rd State to Find Case of B117 Variant
Administrative worker Sander Edmondson, left, hands a COVID-19 testing kit to a woman at a testing site in Los Angeles, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

And then there were three states (that we know of). Florida on Thursday became the third state to say it has identified a case of the new B117 strain of coronavirus. The more contagious variant was found to have infected a Martin County man in his 20s who has no history of recent travel, reports NPR, which notes those details align with those of the cases found in Colorado and California thus far—all patients are men who have not left the US recently. The Guardian reports genome sequencing is being conducted on some 2 million US tests to get a sense of how long the variant has been in the US and how widespread it is. Results are expected within days. The paper suggests there is "a small possibility that it began in the US, not the UK, or elsewhere altogether." (More coronavirus stories.)

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