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Two county residents have tested positive for new, more contagious UK strain of COVID

| January 12, 2021, 02:01 PM

Governor Hogan announced today that two Anne Arundel County residents have tested positive for the more contagious strain of COVID-19, commonly known as the UK strain.

The positive diagnosis involves a couple, one of whom had recently traveled abroad.  Both were tested by a private company which detected the abnormality and sent the case to the State Public Health Lab, who in turn sent it to  the CDC for confirmation which came back positive.

Both patients are at home and quarantining along with their two children.

The State is working on the contact tracing to see whom they may have been in contact with.

According to the CDC:

In the United Kingdom (UK), a new variant has emerged with an unusually large number of mutations. This variant seems to spread more easily and quickly than other variants. Currently, there is no evidence that it causes more severe illness or increased risk of death.

Also according to the CDC, on January 11, 2021, there was a total of 72 known cases of this variant across 10 states although the CDC believes that there may be many more which have not been detected.

Last week on a media call, we asked Dr. Kalyanaraman if the labs utilized by the County tested for the new strain and he said that it was not something the lab would test for.

UPDATE FROM GOVERNOR HOGAN’S OFFICE:

Governor Larry Hogan today announced that the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) has confirmed two cases of COVID-19 in Maryland residents caused by the new SARS-CoV-2 variant strain commonly known as B-117.

The B-117 strain first emerged in the United Kingdom in late 2020. The strain has not been shown to cause more severe illness or increased risk of death when compared to other strains. However, the strain has been shown to be more transmissible than other strains. Additionally, there is no evidence suggesting that the currently available COVID-19 vaccines are less effective on the B-117 strain.

“Our state health officials are closely monitoring the emergence of the B-117 strain of SARS-CoV-2 in the state,” said Governor Hogan. “We encourage Marylanders to practice caution to limit the additional risk of transmission associated with this strain. It is critically important that we all continue to follow standard public health and safety measures, including mask wearing, regular hand washing, and social distancing.”

The two cases announced today involved Maryland residents in the Baltimore region who are both younger than 65 years old and live in the same household. One of the individuals had traveled internationally prior to the infection, and it is thought that this individual transmitted infection to the other individual. Neither patient has required hospitalization.

Extensive contact tracing measures have been employed for both cases of the B-117 strain identified in Maryland, and there is currently no evidence of additional transmission of the strain. MDH continues aggressive contact tracing for all cases of COVID-19 identified in the state.

Both of the cases involving the B-117 strain were identified in viral samples tested at an independent lab licensed in Maryland. The results of the analysis were reviewed by the state’s public health lab and discussed with officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Since the strain was initially identified, the lab has been monitoring for the possible emergence in Maryland by sequencing viral samples collected in the state. To date, the CDC has identified 72 cases of COVID-19 caused by the B-117 strain in the United States.

COVID-19 information and resources are available at covidLINK.maryland.gov. COVID-19 data are available at coronavirus.maryland.gov.

Severn Bank

 

Category: COVID, Local News, NEWS, Post To FB

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