State Watch

Florida reports first case of new, contagious coronavirus strain

Health officials in Florida announced Thursday that they have detected the new, more infectious strain of the coronavirus, making it the third U.S. state to report an instance of the virus variant.

The new strain was first found in the United Kingdom.

"Florida has evidence of the first identified case of the UK COVID-19 variant in Martin County. The individual is a male in his 20s with no history of travel. The Department is working with the CDC on this investigation. We encourage all to continue practicing COVID-19 mitigation," the Florida Department of Health said on Twitter Thursday.

Colorado and California both detected cases of the strain this week.

The new strain, called B.1.1.7, was first detected in Colorado on Tuesday and found in a man in his 20s who had not travelled.

On Wednesday, a California health official announced that the patient infected with the new strain was a 30-year-old man, and he did not have any history of travel, according to Politico

The Florida health department added, "At this time, experts anticipate little to no impact on the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine."

Health experts and pharmaceutical companies have stated that the current vaccines by Pfizer and Moderna are believed to be effective against the new strain, though more testing is being conducted to confirm its efficacy.

Though it is more infectious, it is not believed to cause more severe symptoms or be more deadly.

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