The US state of Colorado has registered what is said to be the US’s first case of the particularly infectious coronavirus variant that recently emerged in the UK, the governor said on Tuesday.
“Today we discovered Colorado’s first case of COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7, the same variant that was discovered in the UK,” tweeted Gov. Jared Polis.
He attached an official statement from his office and state health officials saying the individual is a “man in his 20s who is currently isolated in Elbert County and has no travel history.”
The individual had no close contacts, the statement said, but the situation will continue to be monitored “very closely” and authorities are working to identify other potential cases through contact tracing.
The Washington Post reported that the Colorado case is the first known infection with the variant virus that has been registered in the United States. The first two variant cases on the North American continent were discovered in Canada over the weekend.
The fear has been aroused by the new strain of Covid-19, which experts say is potentially more transmissible.
More than 3,000 cases of the variant have already been reported in the UK and dozens of countries in Europe and around the world, according to the EU Health Bureau ECDC.
In South Africa, more than 300 cases of another variant have been registered. Three cases of this strain have been confirmed in Europe – two in the UK and one in Finland – but all three have been linked to people returning from South Africa.