More cases of UK COVID-19 variant reported in Central Florida

Variants can emerge and disappear while others appear and persist

This Sept. 2020 photo provided by Johnson & Johnson shows a clinician preparing to administer investigational Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. Johnson & Johnson's long-awaited COVID-19 vaccine appears to protect against symptomatic illness with just one shot not as strong as some two-shot rivals but still potentially helpful for a world in dire need of more doses. Johnson & Johnson said Friday, Jan. 29, 2021 that in the U.S. and seven other countries, the first single-shot vaccine appears 66% effective overall at preventing moderate to severe COVID-19. It was more protective against severe symptoms, 85%. (Johnson & Johnson via AP) (Uncredited)

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – More cases of a COVID-19 variant that originated in the U.K. have been reported in Central Florida, according to officials.

The new variant has been observed in Brevard, Orange, Osceola, Volusia, Lake, Sumter and Seminole counties.

According to officials, one case of the B.1.1.7 variant has been reported in Volusia County. Officials in the county do not know when the person tested positive.

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Seminole County reported six cases of the variant, three were detected in Osceola County and two cases were reported in Orange County. One instance of the variant has been confirmed in Brevard County, Lake and another in Sumter.

According to Dr. Raul Pino, with the Florida Department of Health, the cases in Orange County were from two people visiting the area.

Health officials said the B.1.1.7 variant has emerged with an unusually large number of mutations.

Researchers say that sometimes new variants of a virus can emerge and disappear. Other times, new variants emerge and stick around.

The CDC said the virus that causes COVID-19 is a type of coronavirus, a large family of viruses.

Since the coronavirus was first discovered, multiple new variants of the virus have been documented in the United States and around the world.

To read more about the different variants currently spreading throughout the world, click or tap here.

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