South African variant of COVID-19 found in Missouri

UPDATE:  The Missouri health department says the good news is that all three vaccines available in the U.S. are effective against all variants, including the South African variant and the one from the U.K. 

The CDC reports the variant originally found in the United Kingdom is now the most common strain of coronavirus in the U.S.  As of Tuesday, 35 cases of that strain were reported in Missouri. 

A strain of COVID-19 originating from South Africa is reported in a Missouri resident.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services announced on Tuesday that the state’s first case of the variant, known as B.1.351, has been identified in an adult in Jackson County.  To date, the CDC reports 374 cases of the variant in the U.S., with at least 34 states confirming at least one case.

The Missouri health department says it’s currently unknown whether the variant is more severe or spreads more easily.