Health Officials confirm first confirmed case of South Africa Variant

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Delaware sees it’s first case of the South Africa Variant, the Delaware Division of Health said Thursday.

DOVER (DE): The Division of Public Health (DPH) announced today the first confirmed case of the COVID-19 variant, SARS-CoV-2 B.1.351, in Delaware. This variant is the same one that was first discovered in South Africa in October and is also commonly referred to as the South African Variant

Delaware now joins a list of 17 other states and jurisdictions reporting cases of the SA variant.

According to officials, the case involved a New Castle County adult in their 50s who traveled outside of the country prior to testing positive for COVID-19. The case was identified through routine surveillance of test specimens performed by the Division of Public Health Laboratory.

Photo Courtesy of DHSS

In addition to the newly identified South African variant case, DPH has identified 12 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 variant, SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7, in Delaware through routine surveillance of test specimens. This variant is the same one that was first discovered in England in December and is also commonly referred to as the UK Variant. The cases include 11 adults ranging in age from 18-65, as well as a child under the age of 10. Eight individuals were from New Castle County and four were from Kent County.

Officials say virus mutation is common. Preliminary data suggests the UK variant, as well as Brazilian and South African variants, may spread more easily and quickly, which could lead to increased cases. Public health approach and treatments are not any different, but as these new variants may be more contagious, it is even more important that individuals remain vigilant and continue taking the necessary steps to avoid spreading the virus – wear a mask, wash your hands, avoid gatherings.

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Delaware Newsline is a digital Delaware News Organization that provides local and national breaking news content to its Delaware and U.S. audience, by utilizing multiple platforms including web, social media, and video.

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