LUBBOCK, Texas — On Friday, the city confirmed that the first COVID-19 variant has been identified in Lubbock.
The city said the recently diagnosed case was in an adult woman with no history of travel.
The variant, known as B.1.351, was first detected in South Africa and is known to be more infectious than the normal strain of coronavirus, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
However, the CDC said in January that there was no evidence showing an increase in severity of the disease in the variant.
According to the CDC, “studies suggest that antibodies generated through vaccination,” recognize the variants and can likely protect against serious infection.
There were 266 total reported cases of the B.1.351 variant in the United States as of Thursday, according to CDC data. Three of the reported cases were in Texas.
Read the release by the city below:
The first known case of a COVID-19 variant has been identified in a Lubbock resident. The adult female who has no history of travel, was recently diagnosed with COVID-19. Results of genetic sequencing showed that the infection was caused by the variant strain, B.1.351. The case is currently under investigation by the Public Health Department.
Although this is the first confirmed variant in Lubbock, it does not come as a surprise. Cases of the variant strain are known to be spreading in Texas. However, with this confirmation it’s important that everyone continues to be diligent in their prevention efforts and that all adults get vaccinated.
The B.1.351 is also known as the South Africa variant. Cases attributed to this variant have been detected in multiple countries outside of South Africa. This variant was reported in the US at the end of January 2021. The current scientific evidence indicates that the variant does not cause more severe disease and that vaccines are expected to be effective against it.