A Multnomah County resident tested positive with the variant COVID-19 virus strain originally detected in the United Kingdom, according to the Oregon Health Authority.
This variant of the virus spreads more quickly and easily than other variants, according to the Centers for Disease Control. There’s no evidence that it causes more severe illness or an increased risk of death, or affects vaccine effectiveness.
The person has no known travel history and authorities are investigating possible sources of infection, according to the OHA. The OHA just learned about the person testing positive with the variant today.
“Confirming this strain locally is distressing,” said Multnomah County Health Officer Dr. Jennifer Vines. “Until we have enough vaccine, we must continue using face masks, distancing, and limiting our social interactions.”
Viruses constantly mutate so new variants of a virus are expected over time, according to the OHA.
The strain has been detected in several U.S. states including California.