A Boulder resident has examined optimistic for the brand new, extremely contagious variant of the coronavirus, bringing Colorado’s whole to 5 confirmed instances.
The brand new variant — known as B.1.1.7 — was found in Colorado for the primary time two weeks in the past. The fifth case was confirmed in an individual of their 20s, the state Division of Public Well being and Surroundings introduced Wednesday.
The brand new variant, first found within the U.Ok., is believed to be 50% extra contagious than earlier strains, however is just not believed to be any extra extreme by way of signs. Public well being specialists are involved that it may result in a brand new surge in instances.
The state well being division has stated it believes that Pfize’s and Moderna’s vaccines will shield in opposition to the brand new variant. Coloradans are inspired to maintain washing their fingers, sporting masks, staying 6 ft aside and avoiding gatherings.
Testing for the variant is harder as a result of the US lacks the infrastructure wanted, specialists say. The brand new variant is recognized when a pattern assessments optimistic for the coronavirus however doesn’t have the sign for the “S gene.” When that happens, lab employees then need to sequence the viral genome.
Colorado’s state lab, the primary to determine the brand new pressure within the U.S., is doing between 5% and 10% of coronavirus assessments within the state. The well being division has expanded its testing for the brand new variant by having hospitals ship specimens to the state lab.
The state’s fifth case was found by way of a non-public lab after which confirmed by the sate lab, based on the Division of Public Well being and Surroundings.