Texas health officials identify state’s first case of new Covid strain found in UK

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Medical staff examine a patient suffering from coronavirus in the COVID-19 intensive care unit (ICU) at United Memorial Medical Center on November 16, 2020 in Houston, Texas.

Go Nakamura | Getty Images

Texas public health officials announced on Thursday that they have identified the state’s first case of a new, more contagious variant of the coronavirus that was initially discovered in the United Kingdom.

The patient, a man between the ages of 30 and 40 with no recent travel history, was discovered in Harris County, home to Houston, the county’s public health department said in a statement. The man was isolating and in stable condition, and local infectious disease experts are tracing all of his contacts to find and monitor other people he may have exposed to the virus.

The strain, which has also been found in California, Georgia, New York, Florida and Colorado, is thought to be more transmissible but doesn’t appear to make people more ill or increase the risk of death from Covid-19, experts have said.

Earlier on Thursday, Pennsylvania health authorities said they identified their state’s first case with the new variant, known as B.1.1.7.

This is a developing story. Please check back later for updates.

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