2nd case of UK’s highly-contagious virus variant found in New Mexico; 3rd case appears in Texas
SANTA FE, New Mexico — A second case of the highly-contagious variant of the coronavirus has now been detected in New Mexico and third case has been found in Texas, health officials confirmed Monday.
The New Mexico Health Department said the second known case in that state involves a woman in her 30s who has experienced mild symptoms, but has not required hospitalization.
“This case is a close household contact of the first case, announced on Wednesday, January 13,” the department said, although it didn’t indicated where in the state the pair resides.
The first New Mexico case was a man in his 60s who traveled in December to the United Kingdom, where the variant has taken a toll. His illness was described at the time as mild, and officials said he also did not require hospitalization.
New Mexico health officials said in a Monday statement that “no additional close contacts outside of the household have been identified to date.”
Meanwhile, the third confirmed variant case in Texas was discovered over the weekend involving a Dallas man in his 20s with no history of travel outside the U.S.
Texas reported a Houston-area man as its first case of a person infected with the new variant on Jan. 7.
Health leaders in both states reiterated that there’s no evidence the variant affects the severity of Covid-19 cases or the effectiveness of vaccines.
But they added that this variant of the virus “appears to spread more easily and quickly than previous variants, which may lead to more cases of Covid-19.”
As of Monday, the the variant first identified in the U.K. and known as B.1.1.7. has spread to multiple countries and 14 U.S. states since first emerging in September, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
(The Associated Press contributed background to this report.)
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