SC’s first case of COVID-19 variant from UK detected, DHEC says

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A rendering of coronavirus via the CDC.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSPA) – DHEC announced Saturday the detection of one case associated with the SARS-CoV-2 variant that first emerged in the United Kingdom. 

South Carolina public health officials were notified late Friday of a South Carolina sample that was determined to be the B.1.1.7 variant first identified in the United Kingdom.

The case, an adult from the Pee Dee region, has an international travel history.

Health officials say existing vaccines work to protect from this variant, even if they don’t know just how effective they are. At this time, there’s no conclusive evidence to prove that the B.1.1.7 variant causes more severe illness.

“The arrival of the second SARS-CoV-2 variant in our state is a yet another important reminder to all South Carolinians that the fight against this deadly virus is far from over,” said Dr. Brannon Traxler, DHEC Interim Public Health Director. “While more COVID-19 vaccines are on the way, supplies are still very limited. We must all remain dedicated to the fight by doing the right things to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.”

The B.1.1.7 variant has been identified in many countries and in 30 states with 434 total cases having been reported in the US as of 7 p.m. Friday. Earlier this week, DHEC announced that two cases of a variant first discovered in South Africa had been reported in South Carolina.

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