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'Significantly more contagious' COVID-19 variant from UK has hit the US


Man in his 20s 'is currently in isolation in Elbert County and has no travel history'

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (Hyoung Chang/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

A variant of COVID-19 spreading through the United Kingdom is now in America, as confirmed by Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) who announced Tuesday that his state has discovered its first case of the "significantly more contagious" virus.

What are the details?

Polis' office issued a notice saying that a man in his 20s tested positive for the B.1.1.7. variant to COVID-19, pointing out that the individual "is currently in isolation in Elbert County and has no travel history."

The governor said in a statement, "There is a lot we don't know about this new COVID-19 variant, but scientists in the United Kingdom are warning the world that it is significantly more contagious."

According to The Daily Mail, the B.1.1.7. mutation is possibly as much as 70% "more infectious and more of a concern for children," and has been detected in roughly 60% of the recent COVID-19 cases in London.

But the The Washington Post reported:

Although the U.K. variant appears more contagious, it is not leading to higher rates of hospitalizations or deaths, according to a report from Public Health England, a government agency. Nor is there any sign that people who were infected months ago with the coronavirus are more likely to be reinfected if exposed to the variant, according to the report. All available evidence indicates that vaccines, and immunity built up in the population, should be protective against this variant.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spokeswoman Belsie González said in an email to CBS News that the agency "is aware of Colorado's report of the first U.S. case associated with the U.K. variant of COVID-19."

González noted, "In addition to the reported case in Colorado, we expect that there will be additional cases that are likely to be detected in the coming days."

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