MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A new variant of the COVID-19 virus, which is considered more contagious, has been discovered in Florida.
According to the Florida Department of Health, the Martin County resident is a male in his 20s with no history of travel.
The department said its working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on this investigation.
The CDC wrote on its website that the B.1.1.7 variant is estimated to have first emerged in the United Kingdom in September.
U.K. scientists believe the variant to be more contagious than previously identified strains of the SARS-CoV-2 variant.
Prior to the Florida discovery, Colorado and California are the only other states to have detected the variant so far.
The currently approved vaccines are thought to be effective against strain.
Dr. Anthony Fauci downplayed possible concerns about the new strain in an interview with CBSN’s Anne Marie Green.
“This vaccine does not drift… it does not drift the way influenza [vaccine] does,” he said, expressing confidence that adjustments would be made if needed.
He added that most viral mutations, like those that normally occur with the influenza virus, “have no relevant functional impact.”