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Dallas County confirms its first known case of the UK coronavirus variant

The more infectious variant was found in a Dallas man in his 20s with no recent travel history outside the country, according to officials.

Dallas County health officials announced Saturday that they have found the first known case of the UK coronavirus variant in North Texas. 

The more infectious variant was found in a Dallas man in his 20s with no recent travel history outside the country, according to officials. The man is stable and in isolation, according to a news release.  

It's the third known case in Texas. The state's first known case of the more contagious variant of COVID-19, variant B.1.1.7 was confirmed on Jan. 7 in Harris County.

"This is now the third identified case in Texas and we can assume there are more cases in our community due to the nature of this variant and how quickly it spreads," said DCHHS Director Dr. Philip Huang. 

DCHHS epidemiologists said they are involved with the investigation in identifying and notifying close contacts to the North Texas man. 

“The emergence of strain B.1.1.7, while inevitable given the mobility of the modern world and the fact that we are a major transportation hub, means that there is a strain that is 70% more contagious in our community and it will grow quickly," Judge Clay Jenkins said.

Health officials are urging residents now more than ever to continue wearing a mask, practice social distancing, and avoid large crowds.

“If we do that, by March things will get a little better and every month after that things will get a little better and we’re going to beat COVID, but we have to do it together making those smart decisions,” Jenkins said.

In December, the U.S.'s first confirmed case of the COVID-19 variant was a member of the National Guard working at a nursing home in Simla.

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