(CMR) The US has confirmed its first case of a new variant of the coronavirus discovered in the UK.
The infected individual tested positive in Colorado and has since been placed in isolation. Officials said the man, who is in his 20s, does not have a travel history.
Colorado Governor Jared Polis said Tuesday,
“There is a lot we don’t know about this new Covid-19 variant, but scientists in the United Kingdom are warning the world that it is significantly more contagious. The health and safety of Coloradans is our top priority and we will closely monitor this case, as well as all COVID-19 indicators, very closely.”
The more contagious variant, which is said to be 70 % more transmissible, has been blamed for the rapid spread of COVID-19 in the UK. Following its discovery, a large number of countries placed a travel ban to and from the UK.
However, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, had warned that with the UK a popular travel destination, it was possible the new variant was already in the US.
Over the weekend, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that people traveling to the US from the UK would be required to have a negative COVID-19 test before boarding.
On Sunday, Canada confirmed its first cases of the new strain of COVID-19 after a couple from the Durham Region who had no travel history tested positive.
The new strain of the virus was also discovered in Chile on Tuesday.