A new, potentially more contagious strain of the CCP virus that causes COVID-19 was confirmed in Colorado—the first time it's been detected in the United States, according to health officials.
The variant, B.1.1.7, is the same as the one discovered in the United Kingdom, according to officials.
“I want to thank our scientists and dedicated medical professionals for their swift work and ask Coloradans to continue our efforts to prevent disease transmission by wearing masks, standing six feet apart when gathering with others, and only interacting with members of their immediate household," Polis also said in the statement, adding that health officials "are working to prevent spread and contain the virus at all levels."
Health officials are working to find other possible cases of the new variant, Polis said.
Earlier in December, the CDC said the B.1.1.7 variant could already be circulating undetected in the United States. The CDC called the strain, “SARS-CoV-2 VUI 202012/01."
The agency noted that so far there have been a number of mutations of the CCP virus.
“Among these possibilities, the last—the ability to evade vaccine-induced immunity—would likely be the most concerning because once a large proportion of the population is vaccinated, there will be immune pressure that could favor and accelerate emergence of such variants by selecting for ‘escape mutants,’” the CDC said.
“There is no evidence that this is occurring, and most experts believe escape mutants are unlikely to emerge because of the nature of the virus.”