Commonly known as the UK variant
Loveland, Ohio –Hamilton County Public Health has been informed that surveillance discovered a COVID-19 variant in Hamilton County. Officially labeled as B.1.1.7 lineage, the variant is commonly known as the UK variant. Hamilton County is one of at least 11 Ohio counties known to have a variant detected.
HCPH has completed contact tracing on the patient, who has resolved symptoms and cleared the standard isolation period. The variant was detected during routine surveillance of tests submitted to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). The actual test took place on January 30.
According to the CDC:
- This variant is estimated to have first emerged in the UK during September 2020.
- Since December 20, 2020, several countries have reported cases of the B.1.1.7 lineage, including the United States.
- This variant is associated with increased transmissibility (i.e., more efficient and rapid transmission).
- In January 2021, scientists from UK reported evidence that suggests the B.1.1.7 variant may be associated with an increased risk of death compared with other variants.
- Early reports found no evidence to suggest that the variant has any impact on the severity of disease or vaccine efficacy.
“We’ve known about these variants for some time,” says Hamilton County Health Commissioner Greg Kesterman. “From a prevention standpoint, the response remains the same: wear a mask; maintain at least six feet of physical distance; wash hands often; and stay home when you are ill. Also, consider taking vaccine when you are eligible.”
Here is a discussion of the variant, its prevention, and treatment with Hamilton County Public Health Medical Director Dr. Stephen Feagins.