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COVID-19 variant first reported in the U.K. detected in Southern California

California detects U.K. strain of COVID-19
California detects U.K. strain of COVID-19 05:22

California has identified a case of the fast-spreading COVID-19 variant first reported in the United Kingdom, Governor Gavin Newsom announced Wednesday. The announcement comes a day after America's first case of the strain was reported in Colorado

Speaking on a video conference with Dr. Anthony Fauci, Newsom said that Southern California identified a case of the strain about an hour earlier. Fauci responded that he was "not surprised" to hear the state had identified a case of the variant, adding that he expected there are "likely more cases" around the U.S. due to travel between impacted countries.  

"I don't think the Californians should feel like this is something odd," Fauci said. "This is something that's expected." The strain has already spread widely in Britain and cases have been identified in a number of other countries.

Soon after Newsom's announcement, San Diego County officials announced that the variant was detected in a 30-year-old man with no travel history, CBS affiliate KFMB reported. Officials said the man first developed symptoms on December 27, and tested positive on December 29. The man is not hospitalized, and one household contact who has shown symptoms is being tested on Wednesday. 

The announcement comes just a day after Colorado officials announced that the state had confirmed its own case of the variant in a male in his 20s with "no travel history." Officials said the man was in isolation and "has no close contacts identified so far." 

The CDC said Tuesday that it expected more cases to be reported around the country. 

The variant, known as B.1.1.7., appears to be more contagious than other strains of the virus, and has been linked to a surge of cases in the U.K.  But Fauci stressed during the video conference that the variant does not appear to make patients any sicker.

Both Pfizer and Moderna have said their vaccines will work against the variant. 

First case of U.K. COVID variant in U.S. 07:47

Alexander Tin contributed to this report. 

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