The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on Sunday confirmed the second case of COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7, the same variant discovered in the United Kingdom.
The specimen, submitted by a clinical facility, was sequenced as part of routine surveillance by the L.A. County Public Health Laboratory.
Public Health announced the first confirmed case of COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7 on January 16.
Public Health believes the B.1.1.7 and other variants are already spreading in the county, and Public Health is continuing to test samples.
Viruses constantly change through mutation, and new variants of a virus are expected to occur over time. Sometimes new variants emerge and disappear. Other times, new variants emerge and persist. Multiple variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 have been documented in the United States and globally during this pandemic.
Currently, there is no evidence that it causes more severe illness or increased risk of death.
The presence of the B.1.1.7 variant in L.A. County means virus transmission can happen more easily, and residents and businesses must more diligently implement and follow all of the personal protective actions and safety measures put in place to prevent additional cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.
This includes wearing a face covering properly over your nose and mouth, physically distancing, and not gathering with people from outside your household.
With community transmission still at a very high level, staying home as much as possible is the best protection. These strategies will only be effective in slowing the spread of any variant strain of COVID-19 if they are used by everyone all of the time.
New MIS-C Cases
Four additional cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) are also being reported by Public Health. This brings the total cases of MIS-C in L.A. County to 66 children including one child death.
All 66 children with MIS-C in L.A. County were hospitalized and 44% of the children were treated in the ICU. Of the children with MIS-C, 32% were under the age of 5 years old, 38% were between the ages of 5 and 11 years old, and 30% were between the ages of 12 and 20 years old. Latino/Latinx children account for nearly 74% of the reported cases.
MIS-C is an inflammatory condition associated with COVID-19, and symptoms include fever that does not go away and inflamed body parts, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs. If you believe your child is displaying MIS-C symptoms, contact your primary care or an urgent care provider.
Seek emergency care for critical or life-threatening conditions. If you do not have a primary care provider, dial 2-1-1 and L.A. County will help connect you to one.