First case of South African COVID-19 variant detected in Illinois

Local News

A rendering of coronavirus via the CDC.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — The Illinois Department of Public Health says the first case of the South African variant of the coronavirus has been detected in the state.

The variant was found in a Rock Island resident, the IDPH reported.

Illinois currently has identified 22 cases of the U.K variant.

“We expected to see more cases of variants detected in Illinois, including the B.1.351 strain,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “These variants seem to spread more rapidly, which can lead to more cases of COVID-19 and even another surge. Our best path to defeating this virus as quickly as possible remains wearing our masks and getting vaccinated when it’s our turn.”

So far, studies suggest that antibodies generated through the current COVID-19 vaccines recognize these variants and may offer some protection.

In addition to the South Africa and U.K. variants, another variant of the virus has emerged from Brazil.

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