KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The first Missouri case of the South African COVID-19 variant has been identified in Jackson County, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.
DHSS announced the case of the B.1.351 variant Tuesday.
“We continue to encourage prevention measures to be in place as we identify more positive cases of these variants,” Dr. Randall Williams, DHSS director, said in a news release. “We also continue to ask that individuals consider getting vaccinated when they are able. The vaccines that are currently available in the United States appear to be effective against these variant viruses.”
The South African variant was first identified in December and appeared in the United States in January. More than 350 cases have been reported in the states as of April 5, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.
Missouri is one of 34 states that has reported cases of the South African variant, which is “not known to cause more severe disease,” the release stated.
Earlier this year, DHSS reported that another variant – B.1.1.7, or the United Kingdom variant – was identified in the state. The UK variant is believed to spread more rapidly.