First COVID-19 United Kingdom variant case found in BC

First COVID-19 United Kingdom variant case found in BC

The statement, released Sunday just after 1 p.m., comes one day after Ontario reported its first two cases of the extra-contagious strain.

United Kingdom officials first raised the alarm about the variant earlier this month after it reportedly spread across 60 council areas in southeast England.

"It is important to note there is no evidence that the new COVID-19 variant is more likely to cause severe illness, nor is there evidence to suggest the Health Canada-approved vaccines will be any less effective against the new variant".

However, Soucy noted that all now known variants of COVID-19 belong to the SARS-CoV-2 strain and have not mutated enough to either be classified as their own strain or be ineffective against current and prospective COVID-19 vaccines.

To date, it's been found in European countries, such as Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the Netherlands, as well as farther away like Japan and Canada.

It's not the only COVID-19 variant that has been identified, either.

While some have referred to this as a new variant, others are calling it a strain as well as a mutation.

This person developed symptoms while in quarantine, was immediately tested, and received a positive diagnosis on December 19.

They became the first people in Canada to officially be diagnosed with this particular variant.

The cases and contacts have been informed and are now in self-isolation as per public health protocols. Positivity rates are increasing sharply in parts of England, with London reporting the highest number of people testing positive. However, experts say these terms are not interchangeable and all of them don't necessarily apply to this change in the virus.

This is despite Canada and dozens of other countries banning travel from Britain, where it had been spreading rapidly.

It was a message backed by Dr. Colin Furness, assistant professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health.

"We all need to take the lockdown in the province extremely seriously", he said.

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