Michigan confirms first case of South African COVID variant in Jackson County

Lansing, Mitch. – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced that the first case of Coxid-19 variant B.1.351 has been found in a child in Jackson County.

The health department did not say how the boy became infected but is investigating the case to determine close contacts and if there are additional cases involved.

This new variant was originally discovered in South Africa in October-October 2020 and shares some variations with the B117 variant. The first case of the B117 variant – originally found in the United Kingdom – was identified in Wash Wash County.

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Officials said B3.551 is thought to be more contagious but there is no indication that it affects clinical outcomes or severity of the disease compared to the SARS-Covi-2 virus that has been spreading in the United States for months. “

However, the high rate of transmission could increase the number of people who need to be hospitalized or lose their lives in COVID-19 if the new variant starts to circulate widely in Michigan. As of Monday, variables have been identified in 20 other states and jurisdictions, officials said.

The Michigan case is known at this time. It first arrived in the U.S. on January 28. Was reported in when he was identified among two people in South Carolina.


MDHHS Chief Medical Executive and Chief Deputy Health Dr. “We are concerned about another type of discovery in Michigan, although it was not unexpected,” said Jonith Khaldun. “We urge Michiganders to follow a research-based approach by wearing their masks properly, avoiding social distance, avoiding crowds, washing their hands frequently, and planning to receive a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine when the time comes. We all have a personal responsibility to slow the spread of Covid-19 and end this epidemic as quickly as possible. “

Based on the available evidence, current tests can identify COVID-19 in these cases. The available COVID-19 vaccine also works against this new variant.