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South African COVID-19 variant found in Finney County

(Source: Associated Press)
Published: Apr. 2, 2021 at 2:39 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The South African variant of the novel coronavirus, also known as variant B.1.351, has been located in Finney County, Kansas.

A case investigation is being conducted to determine where the individual might have contracted the variant, as well as identifying anyone who might have been exposed.

No further details about the patient have been released.

The variant was determined through the whole genome sequencing conducted through the laboratories at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

The South African variant of COVID-19 was first identified in December of 2020 and has been found in 31 American states and territories. Unlike the UK variant of the virus, it is known currently known to cause more severe COVID-19 infection. It is not yet known if this variant spreads more readily than other strains.

We continue to encourage people to take the appropriate precautions. This includes wearing a mask that fits snuggly around the nose and face and has multiple layers of fabric or layering thinner masks with an additional cloth face mask to improve the fit,” Dr. Lee Norman, KDHE Secretary, said. “Kansans should also follow isolation and quarantine recommendations, practice physical distancing, good hygiene, staying home if ill and getting the vaccine if you are able to.”

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