The San Bernardino County Department of Public Health was notified by the California Department of Public Health today that two cases of the more contagious B117 strain of the novel coronavirus have been detected in San Bernardino County.
The variant strain is currently prevalent in London and southeast England and the detection of the B117 strain is not unexpected. Multiple variants of the virus that cause COVID-19 have been documented in the United States and globally during this pandemic.
These cases were among results collected from members of one Big Bear-area household on Dec. 20. One member of the household had contact with a traveler who returned from the United Kingdom on Dec. 11 and began showing symptoms on Dec. 14.
“Based on the information currently available, we know that the B117 variant strain seems to spread more easily and quickly,” said Dr. Michael Sequeira, County Health Officer. “Therefore, following all safe practices is more important than ever.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to recommend that travelers should avoid all travel to high-risk areas, including the United Kingdom: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/map-and-travel-notices.html
Currently, there is no evidence that these variants cause more severe illness or increased risk of death and no indication that the vaccines are less effective on this strain.
Please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more information on New COVID-19 Variants.