ALABAMA – Health officials say they have identified a new and more highly transmissible strain of the COVID-19 virus in three Alabama residents.
ADPH officials said two of the cases are from Montgomery County and one is from Jefferson County; two are children under 19 and one is an adult.
These are the first reported cases in Alabama of the variant which was first detected in the United Kingdom in late 2020.
The UAB Laboratory identified the specimins as the SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.1.7 associated with increased person-to-person transmission of COVID-19.
ADPH is closely monitoring the emergence of this variant which has been detected in at least 24 other states, including Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, and North Carolina and at least 293 cases in the U.S.
ADPH officials said viruses are known to mutate, and it was expected that cases would eventually be found in Alabama.