First case of COVID-19 variant that originated in South Africa reported in Kern County

Coronavirus

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The Kern County Public Health Services Department is reporting that the county has its first case of the B 1.351 variant that was first detected in South Africa last year.

B 1.351, listed as a “variant of concern” on the KCPH dashboard, has spread to more than 60 countries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The first cases in the U.S. were reported in January.

Kern County also has eight cases of the B 117 variant that originated in the United Kingdom, according to KCPH.

COVID-19 variants have the ability to spread more easily to people and, in some cases, can make symptoms more severe.

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