NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - The Tennessee Department of Health has confirmed the first COVID-19 case with the South African variant in the state.
In addition to the South African variant (B.1.351), 20 cases of the Britain variant (B.1.1.7) have been confirmed in Tennessee.
The health department has not released what counties the cases occurred.
A person with the UK variant can infect 43% to 90% more people than the older version of the virus, according to evidence published Wednesday by researchers for the Centre for Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, told CNN Thursday that the more-transmissible B.1.1.7 variant was showing up in between 20% and 30% of the viruses obtained in surveillance checks in states including Florida, California and Georgia. Those figures – just 1%-2% four weeks ago, likely will double within 10 days.