19 New Cases Of U.K. COVID-19 Variant Confirmed In Massachusetts

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — The Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced Sunday more than a dozen additional cases of the COVID-19 variant that was originally identified in the United Kingdom.

The DPH said 19 new infections of the B.1.1.7 variant were identified by the State Public Health Laboratory, bringing the total number of cases known to be infected with this variant of the virus to 29 in the Commonwealth.

Four of those 29 cases have evidence of recent travel, suggesting that the majority of cases identified in Massachusetts are community-acquired, the DPH confirmed.

The first case of the U.K. variant in the United States was identified in late December 2020, and the first case in Massachusetts was identified on January 17, 2021.

The 29 patients with the U.K. variant in Massachusetts range in age from 4 years to almost 70, and they include 13 females and 16 males.

There have been 17 cases in Worcester County, one in Hampden County, 2 in Middlesex County, 6 in Norfolk County, 2 in Plymouth County, and 1 in Suffolk County.

"The B.1.1.7 variant is known to spread more easily and has caused a rapid surge of cases in the U.K., several other countries, and in parts of California and Florida," the DPH said. "Two other variants of concern are the B.1.351 originally found in South Africa, and the P.1 variant, which originated in Brazil. Currently, there are no confirmed cases of those two variants in Massachusetts."

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Written by Brit Smith

(Photo: Getty Images)

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