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MDHHS identifies two more cases of the COVID-19 B.1.1.7. variant in Washtenaw County

Two adult females who were in close contact with the first Michigan case are all in association with the University of Michigan.

WASHTENAW COUNTY, Mich. — Additional cases of the COVID-19 B.1.1.7. variant have been identified in Washtenaw County, according to the MDHHS.

Two adult females who were in close contact with the first Michigan case are all in association with the University of Michigan.

MDHHS announced the first case of the variant on Saturday. A total of seven additional cases are linked to that case. It is not yet known whether five other close contacts who have tested positive for COVID-19 are infected with the variant. All eight were directed to isolate.  

“Because this variant is more contagious, we have been expecting more B.1.1.7 cases following Michigan’s first case being identified on Saturday,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at MDHHS. 

The higher rate of transmission could increase the number of people who need to be hospitalized or who lose their lives to COVID-19 should the new variant begin circulating widely in Michigan. It is possible that there are more B.1.1.7 cases in Michigan that have not been identified. 

People with COVID-19 have reported a wide range of symptoms, ranging from mild to severe illnesses. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus, according to the CDC. The symptoms include:

  • Fever  
  • Cough  
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

The best prevention for viruses, such as influenza, the common cold or COVID-19 is to:  

  • If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19, call your health care provider. If you do not have a health care provider, call the nearest hospital.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If not available, use hand sanitizer. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.     
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.    
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.    
  • If you are sick, stay home, and avoid contact with others.    
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others when in a public setting.

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