Georgia's First Reported Case Of COVID-19 Variant Detected In 18-Year-Old
An 18-year-old Georgia man tested positive for a variant of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the Georgia Department of Public Health said Tuesday.
This is the state’s first reported case of COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7, which is the same variant discovered in the United Kingdom in September 2020, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The variant was discovered during analysis of a specimen sent by a pharmacy in Georgia to a commercial lab.
The man who tested positive has not traveled abroad and is currently isolating at home, DPH said in a statement. Contract tracing is being done and those who have been in close contact with the man will be tested for the variant as well.
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.
“The emergence of this variant in our state should be a wake-up call for all Georgians,” DPH Commissioner Dr. Katheen E. Toomey said. “Even as we begin roll out of a COVID-19 vaccine, we must not let down our guard and ignore basic prevention measures — wear a mask, social distance and wash your hands frequently.”
DPH, in collaboration with the CDC, will continue to watch for emerging COVID-19 variants and will provide more information as it becomes available.