What you need to know about the UK variant recently identified in Humboldt County

HUMBOLDT COUNTY, Calif. (KIEM) — We’re learning more about the B.1.1.7 Covid-19 variant, also known as the UK variant, which has been identified here in Humboldt County. According to the CDC, this variant is believed to spread more easily due to mutations of the virus’s spike protein.

A single case has been found in Humboldt County through genetic sequencing of local samples by the federal government. It’s not a breakthrough case and it is not associated with any sort of large or super spreader event. The sample dates back to early April leading health officials to suspect that the variant has been circulating in our community since then.

“We are highly suspicious that this event we are seeing currently is related to a likely variant of concern spreading in our community given the high hospitalization rates, more severe illness, and how rapidly this is spreading,” according to Humboldt County Health Officer Dr. Ian Hoffman.

Health officials say vaccination paired with existing prevention measures is the most effective way to limit the spread of this variant.