UK variant of COVID-19 reported in Milwaukee

Posted at 10:55 AM, Feb 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-16 18:26:36-05

A variant of COVID-19 widely circulating in the United Kingdom has been detected in Milwaukee, county officials said Tuesday.

Milwaukee County health officials discussed the variant during the Health Department's Tuesday briefing.

Milwaukee Health Department Interim Commissioner Marlaina Jackson said the variant was detected and reported on Jan. 28.

"We have to continue to be mindful and aware of new variants that are out there," said Jackson during the briefing. "We anticipated that it would reach SE WI, it has reached MKE."

Director of Medical Services for Milwaukee County Office of Emergency Management Dr. Ben Weston said the UK variant is easier to transmit than the original COVID-19.

"The mutation makes it easier to transmit. the strain becomes more prevalent in the community," said Weston. "The strain is increasing, dramatically. The strain is doubling the number of people infected every 10 days. Once the strain spreads more widely, they take one month to become an overwhelmingly dominant strain."

It is unclear where in the county the variant was detected.

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