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UK coronavirus variant found in Missouri

UK coronavirus variant found in Missouri

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JEFFERSON CITY — State health officials announced Saturday that a resident of northeast Missouri has contracted the first recorded case in the state of a variant of COVID-19 that has shown to spread more quickly.

The person lives in Marion County, which borders the Mississippi River northwest of St. Louis.

The variant of the coronavirus was first detected in the United Kingdom in September, and the first case in the United States was recorded in December, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said in a statement.

Data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows more than 600 domestic cases of the variant had been reported to the CDC as of Thursday. Thirty-three states so far have reported cases.

While the variant is believed to spread faster than the original coronavirus, it does not initially appear to be any more severe or to respond differently to vaccines, according to the CDC.

“We are working closely with the local public health agency (in Marion County) to ensure appropriate measures are being taken regarding contact tracing and isolation and quarantine protocols,” state health Director Randall Williams said.

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