Texas Identifies Case of COVID-19 UK Variant

News Release
News Release
January 7, 2021

News Release
Jan. 7, 2021

The first known Texas case of theCOVID-19 B.1.1.7 variant has been identified in a resident of Harris County.The adult male resident, who has no history of travel, was recently diagnosedwith COVID-19. Results of genetic sequencing this week showed that theinfection was caused by the variant strain. The case is being investigated byHarris County Public Health and the Texas Department of State Health Services.

 

“The fact that this person had notravel history suggests this variant is already circulating in Texas,” said Dr.John Hellerstedt, DSHS commissioner. “Genetic variations are the norm amongviruses, and it’s not surprising that it showed up here given how rapidly itspreads. This should make us all redouble our commitment to the infectionprevention practices that we know work: masks any time you’re aroundpeople you don’t live with, social distancing, and personal and environmental hygiene.”

 

The B.1.1.7 variant was firstidentified in the United Kingdom in the fall and appears to spread much moreeasily from person to person than most strains of the coronavirus. The currentscientific evidence is that the variant does not cause more severe disease andthat vaccines are expected to be effective against it. It is thought to beresponsible for only a small proportion of the current COVID-19 cases in Texasand the United States.

 

The latest on COVID-19 in Texas isavailable at /coronavirus, including daily case data andinformation on testing and vaccination. 

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(News Media Contact: pressofficer@dshs.texas.gov)