More than 4,700 cases of coronavirus in the state of Illinois involve variant strains of the virus, including more than 3,000 cases of a variant that originated in the United Kingdom, health officials announced Sunday.
According to the latest figures from the Illinois Department of Public Health, a total of 4,751 cases of coronavirus involve variant strains.
Of those, 3,170 have been identified as the B.1.1.7 variant, which originated in the United Kingdom and has become one of the most prevalent strains of the virus in the United States.
That variant, according to IDPH officials, spreads more easily and rapidly than previous strains of the virus, and has been shown in some studies to be more deadly.
The P.1 variant, which originated in Brazil, accounts for 1,097 cases of coronavirus in the state of Illinois, per officials. That variant is still being studied, but early indications are that it could contain mutations that make it more difficult for COVID antibodies to recognize it as a threat.
The B.1.427/429 variant originated in California, and accounts for 428 cases of coronavirus in Illinois. The fourth variant, the B.1.351 variant, accounts for 56 cases in Illinois, and originated in South Africa.
The Department of Public Health updates its variant tracking metrics every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.