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Experts say vaccinations even more important as COVID-19 variant shows up in Mid-Missouri


The Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services reported the first known U.K. coronavirus variant COVID-19 case in Boone County.

The coronavirus variant called B.1.1.7 was first detected in the United Kingdom in December and has since become the most common strain of the virus in the United States.

The health department has completed case investigation and contact tracing for the positive patient. However, no other information about the patient has been released because of privacy concerns.

Margaret Day with University of Missouri Health Care said getting the coronavirus vaccine is even more important as new variants show up in Mid-Missouri.

"We strongly recommend you get vaccinated, and concern about the variants I hope doesn't hinder people to get vaccinated," Day said. "The vaccine types offer very reasonable protection against these variants."

Sara Humm with the Columbia/Boone County Health Department said the report of the U.K variant in Boone County is another reminder to continue social distancing, hand washing and wearing a mask.

"Research has shown this variant can be more contagious and spread faster so this obviously causes concern when we think of potentially more cases or hospitalization or death but only time will tell," Humm said.

The first confirmed case of the U.K variant was confirmed in Missouri in February and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services announced the first confirmed case of the South African variant Wednesday.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, new variants of the virus are expected because viruses constantly change through mutation.

Article Topic Follows: Coronavirus

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Zola Crowder

Zola Crowder joined the ABC 17 News team as a multimedia journalist in June 2020 after graduating from the University of Missouri with a broadcast journalism degree. Before reporting at ABC 17, Zola was a reporter at KOMU where she learned to cover politics, crime, education, economics and more.


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