By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) is reporting the first identification in a Missouri resident of the COVID-19 variant, B.1.1.7, which was first detected in the United Kingdom in September 2020 and began being reported in the United States in December.

Image/Robert Herriman

The B.1.1.7 variant was identified in a sample from an adult living in Marion County.

“We were notified today of this first B.1.1.7 variant case in Missouri, and we are working closely with the local public health agency to ensure appropriate measures are being taken regarding contact tracing and isolation and quarantine protocols,” said Dr. Randall Williams, director of DHSS.

According to the CDC, this particular variant is associated with increased transmissibility, meaning it can spread more quickly. Early reports found no evidence to suggest that this variant has any impact on the severity of disease or vaccine efficacy.

The most recent data from the CDC Sunday says 690 B.1.1.7 variant cases have been reported from 33 states.