Orange County health officials said the county has its first documented cases of a new mutated coronavirus strain.
Dr. Raul Pino, the Florida Department of Health director for Orange County, says the new strain is now seen among Broward and Seminole county residents. According to Orlando Sentinel, Seminole County officials confirmed that they have seen a total of six cases of the variant so far.
The new variant called B.1.1.7 has emerged with an unusually large number of mutations. This variant spreads more easily and quickly than other variants. Currently, there is no evidence that it causes more severe illness or increased risk of death. This variant was first detected in September 2020 and is now highly prevalent in London and southeast England. Furthermore, the virus variant is now impacting numerous countries around the world. Both the United States and Canada are among those with the variant.
Scientists believe the variant is more contagious than previously identified strains. The vaccines being given now are thought to be effective against the variant.