South African virus variant found in Minnesota for 1st time

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota health officials have confirmed the state’s first known case of a coronavirus variant that was originally identified in South Africa.

The Minnesota Department of Health said Thursday the person is a Twin Cities-area resident in their 40s who became ill on Jan. 24 and was tested on Jan. 29.

The person had no recent travel history but might have been exposed to someone who traveled internationally. The person was not hospitalized.

As of Tuesday, a total of 91 other cases of the variant had been found in 21 other states. It has been detected in 48 countries.

While the variant is thought to be more transmissible than the initial strain of the virus that causes COVID-19, it is not yet known whether it causes more severe illness.

Categories: Coronavirus