Riverside County reports 1st case of highly contagious U.K. coronavirus variant

This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which cause COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. (NIAID-RML via AP)

Riverside County health officials confirmed the region’s first case of the highly contagious coronavirus variant first identified in Britain.

The U.K. strain, known as B.1.1.7, is so transmissible that health officials worry that its spread could leave to another surge in Southern California. The strain has also been detected in Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, San Bernardino, Alameda, San Mateo and Yolo counties.

County health officials learned of the case over the weekend, according to City News Service.

“It was inevitable we would see this strain in Riverside County, and in our large population we will probably see others,” said county Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser. “But it doesn’t change the need for people to take precautions with facial coverings, social distancing and good hygiene. It works for other things and it works for this, too.”

Read the full story on LATimes.com.