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California health officials on watch as UK variant cases rise

Butte County Public Health said out of all the new COVID-19 19 variants, we're seeing one particular one the most in California.

Posted: Feb 12, 2021 5:27 PM

CHICO, Calif. - While coronavirus cases are decreasing, health officials are concerned about the spike of a variant first identified in the United Kingdom that is believed more transmissible than the conventional variety.

Butte County Public Health Officer, Doctor Robert Bernstein, said there are almost 1,000 cases of this variant in the United States. It's about 50% more contagious than the other COVID-19 variants.

RELATED: 2 cases of South African virus variant found in California

Action News Now asked Bernstein if Butte County has seen any of the UK variants.

“The simple answer to your question is that we know the variants are present in California," said Bernstein. "We are going to have more and more opportunities to characterize the variants in our county but that is early stages."

The UK variant may cause a more life-threatening illness and the CDC says it could increase the risk of death.

Bernstein added, the south Africa variant is present in California but not as much.

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