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New York Gov. Cuomo confirms the state's first case of new COVID-19 strain initially found in the U.K.

Cuomo confirms first case of new COVID-19 strain detected in UK.

January 5, 2021: New York State confirmed its first case of a new variant of the coronavirus initially discovered in the United Kingdom, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Monday.

Experts say the strain found in California, Florida, and Colorado was assumed to be more contagious and transmissible. Still, it doesn’t appear to make people much ill or increase the risk of death from COVID-19.

The case was identified in a 60-year-old man from Saratoga county who worked at a jewelry store wherein three other people were also COVID-19 positive, Cuomo said during a conference call. The older adult had no travel history. The state is investigating whether the new strain caused those cases.

Cuomo told reporters that the state had conducted about 5,000 tests searching for the new variant, known as B.1.1.7. Cuomo said he believes it’s “much more” widespread than people already know.

“If other states could test as much as we were testing and tested for the U.K. strain as much as we’ve tested, they would be finding them,” Cuomo said, adding that officials have yet to detect any cases with the strain in the downstate New York City area.

The variant’s arrival in the nation isn’t a surprise for the U.S. health officials, though it could worsen the matters if it’s allowed to spread unchecked.

The new variant doesnt seem to cause severe diseases in infected people; hence the current vaccines should still work against it. It could lead to more hospitalizations due to an increase in cases, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last week.

Cuomo told reporters, “Increased infection is a problem, but the increased hospitalization rate is a game-changer.

The U.S. is much aware for the second phase of highly infectious strain. A similar strain was first found in South Africa, CDC officials say.

“With most of the country already under extreme measures, it’s clear that we need to do more together to bring this new variant under control while our vaccines are rolled out,” Johnson said during a televised announcement.

 

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