Louisiana confirms 2 more cases of UK COVID variant
Photo: Jordan E. Gilbert / USMC
BATON ROUGE - The Louisiana Department of Health announced Thursday that two additional cases of the COVID-19 U.K. variant have been confirmed in the state of Louisiana.
The variant, also known as SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7., was first detected in the United Kingdom. The first case detected in Louisiana came from an individual in the Greater New Orleans area while the other two cases were detected in southwest Louisiana.
Though the strain is still being studied, it's believed current coronavirus vaccines are effective against it.
"A case investigation and contact tracing were performed to identify, inform and monitor anyone who was in close contact with the Region 5 case. This individual did not report a history of travel outside of Louisiana. Case investigation and contact tracing are ongoing for the new Region 1 case," state health officials said in a press release.
The department is waiting for the test results of 14 additional suspected variant cases.
"Because most local SARS-CoV-2 laboratory tests are not able to provide results that can identify suspect variant strains, there are likely to be many additional B.1.1.7 variant cases in Regions 1 and 5 that are undetected. This variant is likely to be circulating in other parts of Louisiana as well," the department said.
Updates on the variant can be found on the CDC’s website here.