PHOENIX – Officials with the Arizona Department of Health Services say they have detected the so-called South African variant of COVID-19 in Arizona.
According to a statement released on March 26, AZDHS, along with the Maricopa County Department of Public Health and TGen, reported that the B.1.351 strain of COVID-19 was detected in two test samples from the state.
“According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this SARS-CoV-2 variant, which spreads at a faster rate, was first detected in the U.S. at the end of January. The CDC has advised that currently authorized vaccines so far appear effective against this variant,” read a portion of the statement.
Officials with AZDHS say it is typical for viruses to change through mutation as they continue to spread, and new variants are expected to occur over time.
“The discovery of this variant in the state is another reminder that Arizonans should get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as they can. They also should take precautions to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including wearing masks, keeping 6 feet of distance from those who aren’t members of their households, washing hands frequently, and staying home when sick,” read a portion of the statement.
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Symptoms for coronavirus COVID-19 include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. These, of course, are similar to the common cold and flu.
Expect a common cold to start out with a sore or scratchy throat, cough, runny and/or stuffy nose. Flu symptoms are more intense and usually come on suddenly, and can include a high fever.
Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear more slowly. They usually include fever, a dry cough and noticeable shortness of breath, according to the World Health Organization. A minority of cases develop pneumonia, and the disease is especially worrisome for the elderly and those with other medical problems such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes or heart conditions.
CDC Website for COVID-19
https://espanol.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html (In Spanish/En Español)
AZDHS Website for COVID-19
https://www.azdhs.gov/preparedness/epidemiology-disease-control/infectious-disease-epidemiology/es/covid-19/index.php#novel-coronavirus-home (In Spanish/En Español)