NC Reports First Case of Variant of Virus Causing COVID-19, B.1.1.7

Breaking News - 10:05 EST


NCDHHS just reported the first identified case of B.1.1.7 COVID-19 variant in North Carolina. The sample was taken from a patient in Mecklenburg County. To protect the privacy of the individual, no further information will be released.


SARS-CoV-2 2019 is a novel betacoronavirus (formerly 2019-nCoV) that causes severe acute respiratory distress syndrome, which we know as COVID-19. The B.1.1.7 variant is one of several circulating variants of the virus, identified through epidemiological phylogenetic analysis. Interestingly, B.1.1.7 contains alterations, known as mutations, in a region called the receptor binding domain (RBD). RBD binds to a human cellular receptor called ACE2 for entry, where it then commandeers molecular machinery of the human cell to reproduce and in some individuals, cause signs and symptoms associated with COVID-19. Current research suggests that the existing vaccines are effective against B.1.1.7. For more information on the molecular biology of B.1.1.7 and other SARS-CoV-2 variants, visit nih.gov.


You can also learn how the CDC is actively tracking emerging variants, including B.1.1.7 by visiting https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/more/scientific-brief-emerging-variant.html.


To learn more about NCDHHS' response to COVID-19, including the new variant, visit ncdhhs.gov. Stay up-to-date on vaccination information by visiting NC DHHS COVID-19: Find your spot to take your shot.


Please remember to always practice the three Ws: Wear a face mask, Wait at least 6-feet apart, and Wash your hands. #getbehindthemask #YourSpotYourShot


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Part of continuing COVID-19 coverage by NCHEALTHEQ™.