Angie Jackson, Detroit Free Press
Published 10: 02 a.m. ET Feb. 17, 2021 | Updated 11: 11 a.m. ET Feb. 17, 2021
DETROIT – The Michigan health division has identified 90 cases of the extra contagious B.1.1.7 variant of COVID-19 at a penal complex in West Michigan.
The cases had been identified thru every day testing of all prisoners and workers at Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility in Ionia. Of the 90 fresh cases, 88 are prisoners and two are workers, in step with a information release issued Tuesday by Michigan State Police.
Data from the Companies for Disease Regulate and Prevention relate the variant is tranquil in the relative early stages of spreading in the country, however the organization has acknowledged it would possibly per chance well quickly turn out to be the nation’s dominant virus stress.
CDC variant data, final updated on Tuesday, showed 1,277 reported cases of B.1.1.7 across the U.S.
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The ability began every day testing final week after a case of the B.1.1.7 variant, identified because the U.Okay. variant, became confirmed in a workers member on Feb. 8.
The testing regimen entails a every day take a look at with a rapidly take a look at. If a rapidly take a look at consequence comes support sure, a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) take a look at is taken and sent to a state lab for testing for the variant.
Of the principle location of samples sent to the state lab, 90 out of 95 had been found to beget the variant. Extra than 100 lab results had been tranquil pending as of Tuesday evening.
The variant is believed to unfold extra without complications than diversified beforehand identified traces. Present data relate that vaccines are efficient against the variant.
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At Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility, 705 prisoners beget tested sure for COVID-19 proper thru the pandemic, and 332 of these cases had been active as of Tuesday. One prisoner has died.
The Michigan Division of Corrections says 122 workers at Bellamy Creek beget tested sure.
Consultants warn of variant-pushed fourth wave
Public health consultants acknowledged they scare the possibility of a fourth wave of COVID-19 cases, this one catalyzed by variants.
Extra contagious variants of the virus beget raced across Europe, South Africa and Latin The USA and beget now all arrived in the U.S.
Dr. Peter Hotez, dean for the National College of Tropical Medication at Baylor College of Medication in Houston, acknowledged that if the infectiousness and case fatality rate for the variant identified as B.1.1.7, turns out to be the identical in the U.S. as it is in the U.Okay., “I be troubled we would possibly per chance well well reach a staggering death toll by the summer and fall.”
The 2 vaccines on the market in the U.S., one by Pfizer-BioNTech and the diversified by Moderna, appear to be efficient against these variants, acknowledged Hatziioannou, who printed a explore on the world.
But these variants are likely to maintain focused remedy much like monoclonal antibodies less efficient. They can proceed to swap and ultimately will evade vaccines and diagnostic tests if they make a choice spreading, she acknowledged.
Now would possibly per chance well well be the time, she and others acknowledged, to double-down on precautions, to steer sure of a lethal fourth wave and at final bring the virus beneath management.
Contributing: Karen Weintraub and Jay Cannon, USA TODAY
Angie Jackson, covers the challenges of formerly incarcerated residents as a corps member with Document for The USA. Her work is supported by The GroundTruth Venture and the Hudson-Webber Foundation.
Be conscious reporter Angie Jackson on Twitter: @AngieJackson23
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