- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 7, 2021

Texas detected its first known case of the “U.K. variant” of the coronavirus that appears to spread more rapidly, officials said Thursday.

Genetic sequencing revealed the mutation in an adult male in Harris County with no travel history.

“The fact that this person had no travel history suggests this variant is already circulating in Texas,” said John Hellerstedt, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services. “Genetic variations are the norm among viruses, and it’s not surprising that it arrived here given how rapidly it spreads.”

Experts are worried about the aggressive nature of the variant and another one from South Africa. The U.K. version made headlines in recent weeks as it swamped southern England and London.

The British sequence the virus far more than the U.S., so the mutation might have been hiding in plain sight in the states.

Colorado found it last week and several more states have reported cases, including a cluster in San Diego County, California.

Scientists say the variant doesn’t appear to be more deadly and that vaccines should work against it.

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