CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – The new COVID-19 variant, B.1.1.7, which originated in the United Kingdom, has been identified in Nueces County, according to Dr. Srikanth Ramachandruni, a local health official.
According to a report by The Caller-Times, a Corpus Christi man, aged between 60 and 70-years-old, recently visited the U.K. because of a family emergency. Once he returned home, the man was diagnosed with the new COVID-19 variant, Ramachandruni said.
“The man, who returned from the trip in late December is in isolation and will remain quarantined until he’s cleared by the health authority,” The Caller-Times’ report said.
“One of his symptoms is a severe headache and he’s expected to recover,” Ramachandruni added.
The Caller-Times said to date, the strain had been found in eight states and 33 countries. The man’s diagnosis marks the second instance of the variant to have been detected in Texas.
Just before the New Year, San Antonio Metro Health Officials announced that researchers were attempting to determine whether or not the new variant had made its way into the Bexar County area. So far, the strain has not been detected.
The variant may be more transmissible; however, Dr. Ramachandruni said it’s not more lethal.
“Currently, there is no evidence that B.1.1.7 cause more severe illness or increase in death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” Ramachandruni said.
Officials say they feel confident that they can contain the spread of the new variant, given that the man has been isolated since he was informed.
The state has since allocated 4,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses to the Nueces County area, according to officials.
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