coronavirus

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) has reported its first case of the U.K. COVID-19 variant in Marion county, according to officials.

The person infected is an adult residing in the county, according to DHSS, who said in a press release no further information will be release about the patient to protect their privacy.

The variant, B.7.1.7, was first detected in the U.K. in September 2020 and reported in the U.S. in December.

The latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported there have been a total of 611 cases reported of the COVID-19 variant, across the country as of Feb. 4.

"We were notified (Feb. 6) of this first B.1.1.7 variant case in Missouri and we are working closely with the local and public health agency to ensure appropriate measures are being taken regarding contact tracing and isolation and quarantine protocols," Dr. Randall Williams, director of DHSS, said in a press release.

The variant is associated with increased transmissibility and can spread more quickly, according to the CDC. Early reports found no evidence to suggest that the variant has any impact on the severity of disease or vaccine efficacy.

DHSS is advising individuals to wear masks, practice good handwashing, social distancing and to stay home if not feeling well.

"If any symptoms are experienced or COVID-19 exposure is suspected, DHSS encourages individuals to seek testing," DHSS said.