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Florida becomes third state to report first case of new coronavirus strand

Mary Rose Corkery, DCNF

Florida health officials said Thursday that they’ve found the first case of the new coronavirus variant in the state, The Hill reported.

The new finding makes Florida the third state to report a case of the new virus strain, or B.1.1.7, first discovered in the United Kingdom, which is reportedly more contagious than the original virus, The Hill reported.

“Florida has evidence of the first identified case of the UK COVID-19 variant in Martin County. The individual is a male in his 20s with no history of travel. The Department is working with the CDC on this investigation. We encourage all to continue practicing COVID-19 mitigation,” the Florida Department of Health tweeted.

“At this time, experts anticipate little to no impact on the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine,” the health department tweeted.

U.K. scientists said the new strain may be around 71% more transmissible than the other COVID-19 strains, CNN reported. Officials said they were looking into what may be a second case of the COVID-19 strain in Colorado, according to another Hill report.

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom announced in a livestream Wednesday with Dr. Anthony Fauci that officials detected the strain in Southern California. Fauci noted he wasn’t surprised the strain was reported in California and said he anticipates more states to report cases of the new strain, particularly because of how connected travel is between the U.S. and the U.K.

Present COVID-19 vaccines will work against the new virus strain, numerous experts told CNBC Monday. Vin Gupta, affiliate assistant professor from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, noted his confidence the vaccines will shield people against preceding virus variants and told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” it was because the virus strains’ genetic makeup is “very similar.”

The Florida Health Department didn’t immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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