More contagious UK variant of COVID-19 may have been found In Hawaii
Honolulu, HAWAII — A highly contagious COVID-19 variant first detected in southeast England may be present in Hawaii, state health officials said Tuesday.
Test specimens from four people in Hawaii contained a molecular signal associated with the U.K. variant.
Now, the state’s public health laboratory is conducting extra analysis of the virus’s genetic information to confirm by Friday whether it is the U.K. strain.
Many variants of COVID-19 have emerged, some of which have greater transmissibility, including variants from the U.K., South Africa and Brazil.
“It’s cause for concern, but not panic,” said Dr. Sarah Kemble, the acting state epidemiologist. “This searching proactively for it will help us get a head start.”