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DPH: First case of South Africa COVID-19 variant confirmed in Mass. – WCVB Boston

Massachusetts now has its first confirmed case of the South Africa COVID-19 variant, according to state health officials.The state’s Department of Public Health announced Tuesday that the first case of the COVID-19 variant B.1.351 has been detected in the Bay State.The person who tested positive for the South Africa variant is a Middlesex County woman in her 20s. She has had no reported travel, according to the DPH.State health officials say genetic sequencing completed at the Broad Institute on behalf of the DPH has confirmed the variant. “The B.1.351 variant is known to spread easily.,” reads a statement from the DPH. “The Massachusetts State Public Health Laboratory is working in collaboration with many health care and academic partners to quickly identify variants of concern by sequencing a subset of positive samples.”Studies show that the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines do work against the South Africa variant, just not as well.According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no evidence that the South Africa variant is more deadly.On Jan. 18, the first case of the United Kingdom COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7 was confirmed in Massachusetts by state health officials.As of Tuesday, the DPH says there are 34 cases of the U.K. variant in Massachusetts and no confirmed cases of the Brazilian variant, P.1.

Massachusetts now has its first confirmed case of the South Africa COVID-19 variant, according to state health officials.

The state’s Department of Public Health announced Tuesday that the first case of the COVID-19 variant B.1.351 has been detected in the Bay State.

The person who tested positive for the South Africa variant is a Middlesex County woman in her 20s. She has had no reported travel, according to the DPH.

State health officials say genetic sequencing completed at the Broad Institute on behalf of the DPH has confirmed the variant.

“The B.1.351 variant is known to spread easily.,” reads a statement from the DPH. “The Massachusetts State Public Health Laboratory is working in collaboration with many health care and academic partners to quickly identify variants of concern by sequencing a subset of positive samples.”

This map shows which states have confirmed cases of the South Africa COVID-19 variant as of Feb. 16, 2021.

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This map shows which states have confirmed cases of the South Africa COVID-19 variant as of Feb. 16, 2021.

Studies show that the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines do work against the South Africa variant, just not as well.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no evidence that the South Africa variant is more deadly.

On Jan. 18, the first case of the United Kingdom COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7 was confirmed in Massachusetts by state health officials.

As of Tuesday, the DPH says there are 34 cases of the U.K. variant in Massachusetts and no confirmed cases of the Brazilian variant, P.1.

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