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Second case of UK COVID-19 variant identified in Kansas



TOPEKA, Kan. – A second Kansas case of the United Kingdom, or UK, variant known as B.1.1.7, has been identified in Sedgwick County. The first case was identified earlier this month in Ellis County. A case investigation has been conducted and close contacts notified. The case investigation indicates that the person likely became infected while traveling out of state. Further details concerning the patient, including demographics, will not be released.

The variant was determined through the whole genome sequencing (WGS) conducted through the laboratories at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE).

“This finding does not change our public health recommendations. We continue to encourage people to take the appropriate precautions. This includes wearing a mask that fits snuggly around the nose and face and has multiple layers of fabric or layering thinner masks with an additional cloth face mask to improve the fit. Kansans should also follow isolation and quarantine recommendations, practice physical distancing, good hygiene, staying home if ill and getting the vaccine if you are able to, once the supply is sufficient,” Dr. Norman, KDHE Secretary, said.

“In addition to following these healthy behaviors, this finding also shows the importance of getting tested for COVID-19,” Adrienne Byrne, Sedgwick County Health Director, adds.