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Highly contagious COVID-19 variant found in Kent County – WILX-TV

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WILX) – A more contagious COVID-19 strain has been reported in a third Michigan county for the first time.

According to the Kent County Health Department, a confirmed case of a highly contagious COVID-19 variant, known as B117, was reported on Sunday, Feb. 7.

There have been 30 cases of the B117 variant identified in Michigan so far.

“Fundamentally this is a race for the coverage of our population; a race that pits vaccination efforts against the transmission of infections,” says Dr. Adam London, KCHD Director. “While we work to minimize the impact of COVID-19 infections, the B.1.1.7 variant is giving the virus increased velocity.”

B117, which originated in the U.K., is concerning according to health experts, because it is 50 percent more transmissible, leading to faster spread of the virus and potentially increasing numbers of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.

Michigan’s first known case of the virus variant was identified on January 16 in a Washtenaw County woman who had recently traveled to the U.K.

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