Florida reaches 500 cases of more-contagious variant of COVID virus

Coronavirus

FILE – This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient, in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, Md. Coronaviruses, including the newest one, are named for the spikes that cover their outer surface like a crown, or corona in Latin. Using those club-shaped spikes, the virus latches on to the outer wall of a human cell, invades it and replicates, creating viruses to hijack more cells. (NIAID/NIH via AP)

TAMPA (WFLA) – The Centers for Disease Control says Florida has become the first state to reach 500 cases of the B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant first discovered in England.

The variant that emerged in Britain was detected in a Martin County man in his 20s on New Year’s Eve with no history of travel.

Florida surpassed California with the most cases of the mutated virus on Jan. 19. Across the nation, there are 2,102 reported cases.

Back in January, Dr. Kami Kim, the director of the Infectious Diseases Division of USF Health told 8 On Your Side some of Florida’s then 50 cases of COVID-19 confirmed by the CDC to be caused by variant strains of the virus have been detected in Hillsborough County.

Neither the CDC nor the Florida Department of Health has said in which Florida counties these cases have been identified.

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April 24 2021 08:00 am

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