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U.S. reports first case of COVID variant

by Onize Ohikere
Posted 12/30/20, 02:38 am

A Colorado man in his 20s tested positive for the highly infectious virus strain first reported in the United Kingdom, Gov. Jared Polis announced Tuesday. State health officials said he is currently under isolation in Elbert County, southeast of Denver.

Any success in tracing the new strain? Health workers are investigating other infections since the first confirmed case has no travel history. The mutation is up to 70 percent more contagious, but there is no evidence it causes more severe illness or higher mortality. Authorities have traced the U.K. strain to cases in Canada, Italy, India, and the United Arab Emirates. Colorado health officials said the current vaccines in circulation should work against the variant.

Dig deeper: Read WORLD’s 2020 photo review on the global impact of the pandemic.

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Onize Ohikere

Onize is WORLD's Africa reporter. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate and earned a journalism degree from Minnesota State University-Moorhead. Onize resides in Abuja, Nigeria. Follow her on Twitter @onize_ohiks.

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    Posted: Wed, 12/30/2020 03:27 pm

    Not much different than the different strains of FLU people get shots for every year with NO guarantee of protection.

    MANY people die from the FLU as well. 

    The only difference is the powers that be decided they needed to tank the economy and blame COVID and TRUMP.

    The economy was doing too well under Trump.

    COVID won't be going away, just like the FLU has not gone away.

    Will we need to get a COVID shot every year as well?


  • not silent
    Posted: Thu, 12/31/2020 04:27 pm

    Respectfully, there ARE some similarities between COVID-19 and "regular flu," but there are significant differences (other than the fact that it is a different virus).  Average flu deaths per year in the US (according to are 12.000 to 61,000.  Total deaths from COVID 19 this year (again, according to are 344,877.  That means that COVID has killed more than five times more people than the highest number who die of flu in a year.  

    I get that some commenters may not have personally experienced loss due to COVID; but that is not true of everyone.  For myself, I'm younger than 60 years old; and two of my high school classmates have died of COVID, two of my cousins were seriously ill with COVID, and more than one friend has lost relatives to COVID. Someone else I know was told he had permanent lung damage after a bout with COVID.  Yet another person who was experiencing an emergency spent hours looking for a hospital that was not too full to treat them. I worked at a hospital for years, and there were times when we were very full; but it wasn't like this. 

    There has been politization of COVID by both major political parties, and it's sickening. But the illness is very real, and the suffering caused by it is also very real.  

  • Nanamiro
    Posted: Sat, 01/02/2021 06:28 pm

    I agree the virus is real and deadly for some people, however many parts of the country aren't being overwhelmed in their hospitals. I have yet to personally know anyone from my state who has tested positive let alone died.

    I think comparing death rates to the flu is not an honest comparison. Flu deaths are not counted the way Covid deaths are. If we counted flu deaths the way we are counting Covid deaths (which sounds like anyone dying WITH Covid, not necessarily OF Covid), we would have likely hundreds of thousands dying of the flu every year as well. In fact, 44% of the people in the US with comorbidities who have died of Covid so far had influenza/pneumonia as well (according to the CDC). The flu and Covid have very similar symptoms. How does a doctor decide if it was the flu/pneumonia that killed the person, or Covid? I honestly don't know and would love to have a doctor explain that. According to the CDC's data, if you can avoid the flu. your chances of surviving Covid improve significantly.

  • Steve Shive
    Posted: Wed, 01/06/2021 04:56 am

    If you look at the CDC data you will see a footnote that explains their data source. These data come from ICD10 billing codes. When someone is hospitalized, or dies, there are codes used so that insurers get paid. At least one of the codes for these people will be coded for COVID19. That is all they need to add them to the COVID 19 tally register. There is also the element of the judgment of the provider. So now that everyone is being tested if they have a positive test for COVID19 that ICD10 code is added. But we don't know how many or whatever other codes there might be for any of these people. Cancer? Chronic kidney disease? Decompensated heart failure? Stroke?

    We can be sure that with nonpoliticized flus we are not testing everyone to see if they might have some influenza strain. This does seem to be a particularly virulent virus. But unless someone is allowed to see ALL of the data, and that "someone" is then allowed to publish and be heard, I wonder what the data would show? But it is clear that in general we are only allowed to see those who embrace the current accepted narrative for COVID19.

  • Steve Shive
    Posted: Wed, 01/06/2021 04:42 am

    Why was this man tested in the first place? Was he sick?