One person in Pennsylvania has the more contagious British variant of “super-Covid,” health officials there confirmed Thursday.
A total of 38 U.S. cases have been identified, including one each in Pennsylvania, Florida, Georgia, and New York, two in Colorado, and 32 in California, where there is a cluster in San Diego.
At least seven states have cases of the B117 variant, a CDC official told DailyMail.com this week, but Pennsylvania is only the sixth to announce the arrival of the new variant.
The Pennsylvania case is a person in Dauphin County who tested positive for the new variant after “known international exposure”, said Dr. Rachel Levine, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Secretary of Health on Thursday.
It comes as the US sees its deadliest day in existence, with nearly 4,000 deaths on Wednesday.
Still, federal agencies have done little to monitor and contain outbreaks of the new variant. This has spurred a surge in infections in the UK and placed the nation under the strictest lockdowns yet.
Pennsylvania is the sixth state to confirm a case of “super-Covid,” bringing the US total to 38 cases of the more infectious British tribe
Pennsylvania Health Commissioner Dr. Rachel Levine said the state was preparing for the arrival of the British variant by screening up to 35 samples a week for it
‘Pennsylvania has been preparing for this variant in close collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and has been sending 10-35 random samples to the CDC every two weeks since November to investigate the sequencing and possible cases for this new COVID- to recognize. 19 variant, “said Dr. Levine.
“Public health experts are at an early stage to better understand this new variant, how it spreads and how it affects people who are infected with it.
There is still a lot to learn about this new variant so we must remain vigilant and continue to urge Pennsylvanians to stop the spread by washing their hands, practicing social distancing, avoiding gatherings, downloading COVID Alert PA and answering the call. Keep calm, stay alert and stay safe. ‘
The slim silver lining in the Pennsylvania case is that it was a traveler who knows where he got infected with the infection.
This person’s contacts are much easier to track.
In many states, including Colorado (with the first cases) and California, the first cases had occurred in people with no recent travel history, which means the British variant was already quietly spreading there.
When the UK announced that the more contagious variant – known as B117 – had appeared there, US health officials assumed it was already in the US.
Economic ties between the UK and the US are strong and flights between the two countries continued during the pandemic.
In addition to regular testing for local residents (pictured), the Philadelphia chief of health asked anyone who recently traveled to the UK to come for COVID-19 tests so the city can sequence the genomes of anyone who test positive to determine whether this is the case the new variant (file)