One case of the COVID-19 B.1.1.7 variant has been identified in Sheboygan County.
Sheboygan County Division of Public Health said it is following up with the positive case.
Variant B.1.1.7 was first discovered in England in November of 2020. The variant was first reported in the United States in December 2020 and was first identified in Wisconsin in January 2021. There are currently 78 identified cases of the B.1.1.7 variant in Wisconsin, officials said.
Researchers believe this new strain spreads more rapidly and easily than the original strain of SARS-CoV-2.
A higher rate of transmission could lead to more cases, which would increase the number of people overall who need clinical care.
B.1.1.7 may also be associated with an increased risk of death but more studies are needed to confirm this, health officials said.
Based on initial evidence, health officials said all three authorized vaccines effectively reduce the risk of COVID-19 for all of the circulating variants. The SARS-CoV-2 virus would likely need to have multiple, significant mutations to affect the level of immunity provided by vaccination.