Mobile Health is keeping a close eye on B.1.1.7, a new and potentially more contagious strain of the virus causing COVID-19 that has so far turned up in almost a dozen states. Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states there currently is no evidence that the B.1.1.7 variant, first identified in the United Kingdom in September, causes more severe illness or increased risk of death or impacts vaccine efficacy.
Testing for COVID-19 Variant B.1.1.7
Mobile Health continually monitors developments in COVID-19 transmission and testing so that we can provide the most current and comprehensive COVID-19 services to our clients.
According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, regular COVID-19 tests will not detect if a positive case is from the new B.1.1.7 variant of the virus. Consequently, scientists are sampling 3,500 of the regular tests per week and re-testing them for the variant to determine its prevalence around the country.
Learn more about the ways Mobile Health COVID-19 Screening and Testing can help protect against this more infectious strain and keep your workplace or campus safe and healthy.
COVID-19 Variant Spreads Without Travel
In investigating the numerous occurrences of B.1.1.7 in the United States, the CDC found that many of the cases occurred in individuals with no history of travel, which means the variant spreads through communities. The CDC estimates that B.1.1.7 accounts for less than 0.5 percent of cases in the country so far.
The B1.1.7 variant has been reported in 33 other countries, including the United States and Canada.
Alert for New COVID-19 Strains
The CDC noted that viruses generally acquire mutations over time, giving rise to new variants. The B.1.1.7 strain is one of several COVID-19 variants circulating globally, including the new B.1.351 strain emerging independently of B.1.1.7 in South Africa.
As Mobile Health advances our efforts on the front line of COVID-19 testing, we will continually monitor the emergence of new variants of the virus and testing’s ability to detect them.
Contact Mobile Health today for a free COVID-19 Testing consultation.