Kauai health officials identify ‘UK variant’ of coronavirus in visitor

Coronavirus

A 3-D rendering of the coronavirus (Getty Images).

HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Kauai District Health Office announced on Monday, April 26, the B.117 variant of COVID-19, also known as the “UK variant,” was detected in a visitor who tested positive in early April.

Officials say the case was detected in a sample taken from a mainland visitor who received a negative pre-travel test before arriving on Kauai.

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The visitor tested positive for COVID-19 several days after arriving on Kauai, according to health officials.

Close contacts of the visitor were identified, tested and directed to quarantine. Every close contact of the positive individual completed their 10-day quarantine and was released. Additional cases of the UK variant have not been detected in the community, according to the Kauai District Health Office.

The confirmed case of the UK variant on Kauai comes five days after the B 1.429 COVID-19 variant was discovered in a Kauai household.

Officials with the Kauai District Health Office say the UK variant “is additionally of concern because it appears to cause more severe illness and more deaths. This makes vaccination especially important to provide protection from severe disease. These [UK and California] variants are being closely investigated and more studies are underway.”

Kauai District Health Office officials say currently available vaccines provide strong protection against severe disease, hospitalization and death from these variants of COVID-19.

The variants are being closely investigated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and more studies are underway.

Every Kauai resident over the age of 16 can click here to make an appointment to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.

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