Georgia identifies its first case of more contagious COVID-19 variant

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FILE – This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab. (NIAID-RML via AP, File)

ATLANTA (NewsNation Now) — Georgia’s first case of the COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7, thought to be significantly more contagious, was detected in an 18-year-old man.

The Georgia Department of Public Health announced the state’s first case of the variant on Tuesday in a press release.

According to the DPH, the man has no travel history and is currently isolating at home. DPH is working to identify close contacts and will monitor them closely and test for the variant.

“Preliminary epidemiologic information suggests that this variant is significantly more contagious than the SARS-CoV-2 virus. So far, there is no evidence that the B.1.1.7 variant causes more severe illness or increased risk of death,” DPH said.

Dr. Amesh Adalja from Johns Hopkins University tells NewsNation that due to the variant strain’s higher infection rate, despite having the same fatality rate, there will be more deaths simply because there will be more cases.

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