United Kingdom COVID-19 variant identified in Ala. residents including 2 children

United Kingdom COVID-19 variant identified in Ala. residents including 2 children
(Source: Houston Dept. of Health via CNN)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - UPDATE: State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said six people have tested positive for the COVID-19 variant in Alabama. That number is current as of Friday, February 5, 2021.

ORIGINAL: Two children and an adult have tested positive in Alabama for the UK COVID-19 variant.

Two are from Montgomery County and one is from Jefferson County.

The variant is a more highly transmissible form of COVID-19 known as B.1.1.7. The patients are two children under 19 and an adult.

These are the first reported cases in Alabama of the variant which was first detected in the United Kingdom in late 2020. The UAB Laboratory sequenced the specimens and identified them as the SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.1.7. Scientists said this variant is associated with increased person-to-person transmission of COVID-19.

ADPH is closely monitoring the emergence of this variant which has been detected in at least 24 other states, including Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, and North Carolina and at least 293 cases in the U.S.

ADPH doctors said viruses mutate and it was expected that cases would be found in Alabama.

At this time, many infectious disease experts and the CDC have indicated that the current vaccine should be effective against the U.K. strain. However, this is still being studied.

Currently, the U.K. variant has not definitively been linked to worse outcomes of the disease.

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