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.
Share this information with your communities and subscribe to keep up with latest developments, news, and analysis by North Carolina Health Equity Project, Inc. (NCHEALTHEQ™).
Part of continuing COVID-19 coverage by NCHEALTHEQ™.