The Health and Human Services Agency has announced 24 confirmed and four probable cases of the most contagious strain of SARS-CoV2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in San Diego County.
The new cases of the variant that have emerged in the UK, known as B.1.1.7, bring the total area to 32 cases. 16 of them are men and 16 are women. The new total includes 28 confirmed cases through whole genome sequencing and four possible cases that are directly related to confirmed cases and have positive diagnostic DNA tests, but have not yet been sequenced.
Twenty new variants were confirmed on Jan 4 from samples collected from Dec 27 to Dec 31 and tested in the lab in San Diego. IUD And her partner Illumina Within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention monitoring project.
There were no COVID-19 deaths associated with the variant, but one woman was hospitalized. She is now at home recovering.
The 24 newly confirmed patients are thought to have no travel history and come from 19 different families, but investigation and contact tracing is ongoing.
New cases have been identified in San Diego, Chula Vista, La Mesa, and Lakeside. Cases are among multiple age groups. While the four youngest cases are under 10 years old and the oldest are over 70, the average age of changed cases to date is 36, the same overall rate of all confirmed cases in the province to date.
“The fact that these cases have been identified in multiple parts of the region shows that this strain of the virus can spread quickly,” said Wilma Wooten, MD, MPH County Public Health Officer. “People must take great care to prevent infection and spread COVID-19, especially this variant, which research has shown is more contagious.”
The province has asked all testing laboratories with the ability to identify suspicious cases for the new strain to redirect samples for genome sequencing to determine if they are indeed altered cases. Local doctors have also been required to send positive tests for COVID-19 from patients with a history of travel to the UK or other places abroad where the variants have been discovered.
“We are doing our best to determine how quickly this new strain is spreading, especially since the number of daily cases in the region has increased dramatically in recent weeks,” Wooten said.
At this time, I believed that currently available vaccines would provide protection against newly emerging variants. Scientists are continuing to study new strains of the new coronavirus to determine their potential impact.
County health officials say San Dejan should do the following now more than ever:
- Maintain your distance from others and leave your home for essential activities only
- Wear a mask
- wash your hands
- If you are sick, take the test, then stay home and self-isolate
For more information on COVID-19, test sites and vaccine distribution, visit //www.everydayhealth.com/drugs/covid-19 www.coronavirus-sd.com.