CDC identifies COVID-19 variant strain in Eastern Virginia
The first case of SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.351 has been identified in a sample from an adult resident of Eastern Virginia, per the Virginia Department of Health, which stresses that there is no evidence that infections with this variant cause more severe disease.
The CDC has been working with state public health, academic, and commercial laboratories to increase domestic strain surveillance capacity to sequence thousands of specimens every week.
CDC notified Virginia of the case that was identified through these efforts at a commercial laboratory. In addition to this case of the B.1.351 variant, four cases of the SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7 variant have now been identified in Virginia.
Viruses change all the time, and VDH expects to see new variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus as disease spreads.
For more information about COVID-19 variants, visit the VDH COVID-19 Testing website and the CDC New COVID-19 Variants website. For more information on DCLS and its use of next-generation sequencing, visit dgs.virginia.gov/dcls.