First case of UK COVID-19 variant confirmed in Austin-Travis County

First case of UK variant of COVID-19 confirmed in Austin-Travis County

COVID-19 variants have likely been found in Austin-Travis County for weeks after a variant was discovered in a Harris County man with no travel history.

The first case of variant B.1.1.7 (UK) of COVID-19 has been confirmed in Austin-Travis County.

The variant was discovered and confirmed through laboratory tests by a private local testing organization and reported to the Texas Ministry of Health (DSHS).

COVID-19 variants have likely been found in Austin-Travis County for weeks after a variant was discovered in a Harris County man with no travel history.

“While the talk is that Austin-Travis County has a confirmed variant of COVID-19, this is no surprise,” said APH director Stephanie Hayden-Howard. “It is important to remember that these COVID-19 variants spread the same way. So it is important to continue the preventive measures that we have been using for almost a year. People need to keep wearing a mask, distance oneself socially and avoid meetings. ” and wash your hands frequently. ”

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APH laboratory tests detect the coronavirus. However, at this point in time, advanced laboratory tests are needed to identify the different strains under the coronavirus umbrella.

“It’s common for viruses to mutate, especially if the original virus has been in the community for a long time. Based on everything we’ve heard from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the variants may be more contagious than the original virus, however not deadlier, “said Dr. Mark Escott, Interim Austin-Travis Health Authority. “We understand that currently approved vaccines are effective against the variants and while this may be a reason to re-emphasize the importance of prevention measures, it is not a cause for concern.”

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