An 18-year-old male was the first Georgia resident to test positive for the new B117 variant of COVID-19.
The variant was first discovered in the UK last month and is believed to be more contagious than the original virus.
Cases of this variant have also been found in New York, California, Colorado, and Florida.
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The Georgia Department of Health announced that an 18-year-old male was the state’s first case of the new, more contagious variant of COVID-19.
The news comes during an already chaotic election day in Georgia, where voters are casting their ballots for two Senate runoff races.
According to the Department of Health press release, the teen has not traveled recently and is currently isolating at home. His lack of travel history suggests that he contracted the virus via community spread.
The variant known as B117 was first detected in the UK in December and has been found in at least 33 countries to date.
In the US, the new variant has showed up in California, Colorado, Florida, and New York within the past week.
The B117 variant has been found to be more contagious than the original, “wild-type” virus that has circulated in the US so far, but there’s no evidence that it’s especially dangerous or resistant vaccines.
However, health officials are concerned that a more transmissible form of the virus could cause more infections and deaths overall. An increase in cases sent England into a national lockdown yesterday, and stay at home orders will continue through mid-February.
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