More-contagious variant of COVID-19 identified in Eaton County

More-contagious variant found locally
Published: Feb. 8, 2021 at 11:05 AM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Someone in Eaton County has been identified as being infected with the B.1.1.7 variant of COVID-19.

The B.1.1.7 variant is the result of mutations to the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19, and was first identified in Great Britain. According to the CDC, early findings show that the B.1.1.7 variant may be associated with an increased risk of death, but more research needs to be done. Research also shows that the B.1.1.7 variant may be more easily spread than other variants. At this time, there is no evidence that vaccines are less effective against the B.1.1.7 variant.

An individual with the B.1.1.7 variant of COVID-19 has been identified in Eaton County as of late Sunday. Further details about this individual are unknown and the investigation is ongoing.

The Barry-Eaton District Health Department (BEDHD) is urging individuals to continue to take precautions against COVID-19, especially as new variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 become more prevalent.

The precautions used to stop the spread of the airborne disease are by now common sense. BEDHD is encouraging people to wear a mask around others, stay six feet away from others, wash hands often, ventilate indoor spaces and to get vaccinated as soon as doses are available and recipients are eligible.

The first Michigan case of the B.1.1.7 variant was identified in Washtenaw County in January. Several other cases have been identified in Michigan since the first case was announced.

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