The Illinois Department of Public Health has now linked more than 9,200 cases of coronavirus to five different variants of the virus, including nearly 6,200 cases of a strain that originated in the United Kingdom.
According to the latest data from IDPH, a total of 9,211 cases of the virus are now linked to variant strains of the illness.
By far the most prevalent of those strains is the Alpha strain. Formerly known as B.1.1.7, the strain has infected at least 6,187 residents in Illinois, according to officials.
The Alpha strain of the virus is thought to be more contagious than the original strain of the COVID virus, and is thought to potentially cause greater risk of hospitalization and death, according to the CDC.
Illinois is also seeing an uptick in cases connected to the Gamma strain of the virus. That strain, formerly known as P.1, has caused 2,405 cases of coronavirus in Illinois, and was originally discovered in Japan and Brazil, according to the CDC.
The Gamma strain is thought to be resistant to specific antibody treatments, according to the CDC, and has been largely responsible for an outbreak of the virus in Brazil.
Illinois officials also reported 517 cases of coronavirus linked to the Epsilon variant, which was first discovered in California. Another 102 cases of the virus are linked to the Beta variant, formerly known as B.1.351. That variant was originally observed in South Africa.