The Washington State Department of Health has confirmed the first confirmed case of the 'new' COVID strain; in a patient already diagnosed with COVID-19 January 19. This is the 'second' strain of the virus; the other one you heard about in the UK appeared to spread more rapidly but otherwise didn't exhibit massive differences.

The person diagnosed is in King County.

According to WSDOH, the new variant is known as B.1.351 and was originally verified in South Africa in December. It is reportedly now been found in ten U.S. states.

However, according to John Hopkins (hopkinsmedicine.org):

"1.351 variant has not been shown to cause more severe illness than earlier versions. But there is a chance that it could give people who survived the original coronavirus another round of mild or moderate COVID-19."

So, the jury is really out on this. So far, NO evidence to suggest it is a wildly rampant, vaccine resistant mutation of COVID-19. It appears to be a lot of 'wait and see' and examination.

The WSDOH issued this comment:

"At this point, it is not known to cause more severe disease and it is not clear whether it spreads more readily than other strains. Although this strain can reduce the effectiveness of some vaccines, vaccines still provide strong protection against severe illness and death. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continue to investigate the B.1.351 variant."

This strain differs from the United Kingdom strain, which was seen late last year. That strain is said to spread more easily and quickly, but otherwise did not appear to be massively different.

For more information on these strains, click on the button below.