Florida health authorities reported finding evidence of a case of a newer, apparently more contagious strain of coronavirus, first seen in England.
The case, announced by the Florida Department of Health, comes after reports in recent days of several cases of the UK strain in Colorado and California.
The Florida case was detected in a man in his 20s with no recent travel history.
It said its experts were working with the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control to investigate the case.
The health department did not provide further details, such as disclosing the man’s medical condition or how the strain was detected.
California became the second state to confirm a case of the new strain of the virus on Wednesday.
The announcement came 24 hours after news of the first reported case of the variant in Colorado, in a member of the National Guard who had been dispatched to help out at a nursing home struggling with an outbreak.
UK scientists believe that the variant is more contagious than previously identified strains.
The cases have raised questions about how the version circulating in England made it to the United States and whether it is too late to stop it now, and leading experts say it is probably already spreading to other parts of the United States.
The Florida Department of Health also tweeted that experts anticipate little to no impact on the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines being rolled out in a state facing overwhelming demand for the vaccines from its large population of seniors.
State officials on Thursday reported the highest daily increase in COVID-19 cases ever detected in Florida. The state Department of Health reported 17,192 new cases and 133 new deaths, bringing the number to 21,857.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has said that people 65 and older, more than 4 million of Florida’s 21 million residents, would take priority over workers essential to receive the vaccine. But hospitals and health departments have struggled to keep up with demand.
Some people camped out overnight outside vaccination sites, prompting some hospitals to pause scheduling more vaccines.
DeSantis has asked for patience, saying vaccine supplies are still limited. But the top state official who oversees vaccine distribution also acknowledged that the systems established for the distribution of vaccines in the state “are not up to date.”
Jared Moskowitz, director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, said in an interview with the Orlando Sentinel that the state has directed the distribution of about 700,000 doses of the vaccine, but only a quarter of it has been used so far. They.
” That tells me there are vaccines in the freezers … we want all of our partners to know that it is their job to get the vaccine out,” Moskowitz said.
Moskowitz also expressed frustration with the federal government for sending limited information on the number of doses to be shipped, which has complicated state planning.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism