Highly Contagious COVID Strain Detected in England Came from Florida

covid strain florida

CDC data shows a fifth of all US cases of the more highly contagious and more deadly B.1.1.7 Covid strain first detected in the south of England have come from the Sunshine State.

In total 690 cases have been recorded, dwarfing much of the rest of the US where 44 of all 50 states have recorded fewer than 100.

The arrival of the COVID strain, which research shows is both more highly contagious and more deadly, on US soil had sparked fears of a fourth wave of the virus that would backpedal on reopening plans and efforts to get the economy back on its feet. Florida, experts say, became something of a test case for this as it plowed ahead with one of the most aggressive re-openings nationwide, with no mask mandate and spring breakers flocking to the beaches and bars in recent weeks. But the fears have not materialized with Florida in fact recording a 75% decline in new cases since a peak in early January, hospitalizations halved and deaths down from 131 a month ago to five Thursday when the state released its latest data.

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That said, the dominance of the COVID strain appears to be increasing in the state. The seven-day rolling average of the new B.1.1.7 strain as a proportion of all new cases in Florida is on the rise with the variant making up 33% of all new cases on February 25, the date for which data is last available. Read full story in it’s entirety at Daily Mail

New COVID Strain Variants

  • B.1.1.7 was first identified in the United Kingdom in the fall of 2020. It then proceeded to be transmitted very rapidly, becoming the dominant strain in the U.K.

This variant has been detected in at least 80Trusted Source other countries around the world, including the United States.  Public health officials are concerned that the B1.1.7. variant may soon become the main type of coronavirus in the United States.

  • B.1.351 was the variant first seen in South Africa in early October 2020. It’s since been detected in at least 41 other countries, including the United States.
  • P.1 was the variant first seen in Brazil. It was detected in early January 2021 in travelers from Brazil who were tested upon entering Japan.

It was first found in the United States in late January 2021. Generally speaking, less is known about this variant than the other two.

Protecting yourself from coronavirus variants
In addition to vaccination, the key to protecting yourself and others for COVID 19 and the COVID strain variants include:

Mask wearing. Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth when you’re out in public or near others outside of your household. Make sure your mask has at least two to three layers of fabric. Double masking adds another layer of protection.

Wash your hands. Wash your hands with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol if this isn’t available. Clean hands are particularly important after being in public and before touching your nose, mouth, or eyes.

Practice physical distancing. Try to stay at least 6 feet away from people outside of your household and avoid areas that are crowded or have poor ventilation.

covid strainAccording Health Line the data released from clinical trialsTrusted Source, the effectiveness of this vaccine 28 days after vaccination is:

66 percent effective overall
72 percent in the United States
66 percent effective in South America, where the COVID strain P.1 variant is circulating
57 percent effective in South Africa, where the COVID strain B.1.351 variant is circulating
85 percent effective at preventing severe COVID-19 symptoms across all geographical regions

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