Two more types of COVID-19 variants found in Rock Co.

Published: Apr. 22, 2021 at 2:21 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Two more of the more contagious strains of coronavirus have been found in Rock Co., health officials confirm.

On Thursday, the Rock Co. Health Dept. warned the variants first discovered in Brazilian travelers in Japan and the one originally found in South Africa, variants P.1 and B.1.351, respectively, were recently identified there.

The agency explained that researchers have determined those two varieties spread more rapidly than the original coronavirus strain, noting that a genetic mutation could affect the ability of an infected person’s immune system to recognize and fight off the virus. That also means antibodies developed from a previous infection may not protect someone from either of these strains.

Health officials did point out that experts do not believe either variant is association with more severe COVID-19-related illnesses.

These discoveries are the second and third of the variants found in Rock Co. so far. Previously, officials had identified the British strain there as well.

Of the four more concerning variants being tracked by the Dept. of Health Services, only the one discovered in California, known as B.1.427/B.1.429, has not been found in the county. However, that variant is the second most commonly found in Wisconsin and tied for the most common in south-central Wisconsin.

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