New Mexico records first case of COVID-19 UK variant


Victim is man in his 60s who traveled to the U.K. in December; health officials haven't found anyone who came in close contact with him here

EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – New Mexico is reporting its first confirmed case of the COVID-19 UK variant.

A man in his 60s who traveled to the United Kingdom in December tested positive for the B117 variant, the New Mexico Department of Health reported on Wednesday.

The man didn’t require hospitalization and is recovering from what the department characterized as a “very mild illness.” The state hasn’t identified anyone so far who may have been in close contact with him. Officials did not immediately disclose in what part of New Mexico the man lives.

The B117 coronavirus variant was detected in September in the United Kingdom. It has since spread to multiple countries and several U.S. states, including Texas, California and Florida, according to the CDC. California has reported the most cases with 32, followed by Florida with 22.

The CDC maintains the B117 variant is no more deadly than any other COVID-19 strains nor more resistant to available vaccines. However, it seems to spread much more rapidly, prompting concerns about further outbreaks.

New Mexico as of Wednesday had recorded 159,119 coronavirus cases — 1,151 more than the previous day — and 2,807 fatalities.

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