U.K. coronavirus mutation spreads to Wayne County, more people linked to University of Michigan


This transmission electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 the virus that causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S. - NIAID
  • This transmission electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 the virus that causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S.

A highly contagious coronavirus mutation known as B.1.1.7 has now reached Wayne County, health officials say.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) says the virus was detected in a Wayne County man, according to a press release sent Saturday.

The mutation has also been detected in two more women associated with the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, bringing the total number of cases tied to the campus to five.

The mutation is believed to be between 30% to 80% more contagious than the original strain that causes COVID-19. Because of this, the Washtenaw County Health Department recommends people who were at the same public spaces at the same time as people with confirmed cases should get tested immediately.

Those include:

• Sunday, Jan. 17 at the Meijer on Ann Arbor Saline Rd., Ann Arbor from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m.

• Sunday, Jan. 17 Briarwood Mall, 100 Briarwood Circle, Ann Arbor from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m.

"Everyone should do their part to end this pandemic. Get tested if you have been exposed, have symptoms, or have recently traveled to an area with a new variant spreading," said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at MDHHS. "Make sure you are following all quarantine and isolation guidance. And do your part to prevent the spread of this virus by continuing to wear your mask, avoid gatherings, socially distance, and washing your hands."

Residents can find COVID-19 test sites at Michigan.gov/CoronavirusTest.

The mutation was first detected in Michigan in a woman linked to the U-M who had recently traveled to the United Kingdom.

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