Health officials in Kenosha County, Wisconsin, have detected the first case of the B.1.1.7 COVID-19 variant, the strain that was first discovered in the United Kingdom late last year, according to an announcement on Monday.
The individual in question tested positive in February and subsequently went into a period of isolation, which has since been completed, according to Kenosha County Health Officer Dr. Jen Freiheit.
With the presence of the relatively new variant, the health officer said, it's especially important for residents to remain vigilant about preventing the spread of COVID-19 by continuing to wear masks, avoiding gatherings and social distancing.
As of Monday, a total of six B.1.1.7 cases had been reported throughout Wisconsin, the Department of Health Services COVID-19 dashboard showed. Both the B.1.351 variant, which was originally identified in South Africa, and the P.1 variant from Brazil haven't yet surfaced in the state.
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On the other side of the Illinois/Wisconsin border, Lake County, Illinois, reported its first case of the variant in early February.
Cases have been reported in more than 80 countries and in more than half of the states in the U.S. Studies have found that both the Moderna and Pfizer COVID vaccines are both effective against the variant.