UK COVID-19 variant detected in southeast Pennsylvania

Health officials say a southeast Pennsylvania woman has tested positive for the UK variant of coronavirus, becoming the state's second known case of the unique strain of COVID-19.

The patient, identified as a woman in her 50s from Bucks and Philadelphia counties, was briefly hospitalized after she became symptomatic during the last week of December. Health officials say she is currently recovering.

"While it is still not proven that the B.1.1.7 variant is more transmissible than other variants of the COVID-19 coronavirus, we are concerned that it is present in Philadelphia," Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said. 

MORE: First case of coronavirus variant detected in Pennsylvania

According to the health officials, the B.1.1.7, first detected in England, is thought to be contributing to the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases seen in the United Kingdom since early December.

The Bucks County and Philadelphia health departments have been working together to trace the patient's contacts.

Pennsylvania's first known case of B.1.1.7 was found in a Dauphin County resident earlier this month after the patient has "known international exposure." The patient had mild symptoms and has since completed isolation at home, health officials said.


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