First case of new, more contagious COVID-19 variant found in U.S.

First case of new, more contagious COVID-19 variant found in U.S.

The new, more contagious COVID-19 variant recently discovered in the U.K. has been detected in the U.S. for the first time.

“Today we discovered Colorado’s first case of the COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7, the same variant discovered in the UK.,” Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said in a tweet Tuesday.

The infected individual is a male in his 20s who has no travel history, Polis and Colorado public health officials said in a statement.

“The individual is recovering in isolation and will remain there until cleared by public health officials,” they said, adding that health officials are contact tracing anyone he may have interacted with.

The new coronavirus variant is roughly 70% more transmissible, health officials have said, although there is no indication that it causes worse symptoms or is deadlier. Officials also believe current vaccines will be just as effective against it.

The new variant has spurred a new lockdown across much of England and new U.S. restrictions against travelers coming from the U.K. It has been found in at least 17 countries, including Canada. On Monday, South Korea recorded its first case of the U.K. variant, from a family who recently traveled from the U.K.

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