CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported 23 cases of the United Kingdom COVID-19 variant in North Carolina.
That includes the three people at Davidson College who tested positive last week.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as of February 11, 981 B 1.1.7 cases have been identified across 37 states and 13 B.1.351 across five states.
According to published reports, the B.1.1.7 variant was first detected in the United Kingdom in September and detected in several other countries as of late 2020. The B.1.351 variant emerged independently of B.1.1.7 and was initially detected in early October 2020 in South Africa.
North Carolina has also reported just one case of the B.1.351 South Africa variant.
The CDC has found that the B.1.351 variant shares some mutations with B.1.1.7, and cases caused by this variant began to be identified in January 2021.
Based on the CDC guidance, B.1.1.7 and other variants are highly contagious and could trigger inaccurate PCR and Antigen test results if the laboratory does not test for multiple viral genes causing the virus to spread even further. MAKO’s qPCR testing identifies positive cases based on three different genes; S, N, Orf1ab, including cases of the “S gene drop-out,” which is an indicator for the presence of B.1.1.7.