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Nueces County reports first case of new COVID-19 variant first found in the United Kingdom

According to health officials the patient recently traveled to the United Kingdom.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The City of Corpus Christi and Nueces County announced on Sunday that they have discovered the first case of a new COVID-19 variant.

The COVID-19 variant was initially found in the United Kingdom. The variant has been discovered in eight states across the country. 

As of Sunday, there are two cases of the U.K. COVID-19 variant strain in all of Texas. One being in Harris County, and the other, right here in Nueces County.

Dr. Ramachandruni is the local health authority for Nueces County and said the patient is a male between 60 and 70. He added, the patient traveled to the United Kingdom for a family emergency before leaving the U.K., he began to feel ill. local officials said the patient came back to Nueces County between the 29th to 31st of December and immediately quarantined inside his home in Corpus Christi.

The patient is being supervised by Dr. Ramachandruni.

"What I was told his symptoms were having severe headache and he's currently recovering which is good news," said Dr. Ramachandruni.

Dr. Ramachandruni said right now is the time to keep our guard up against the new virus, because it is already in our backyard and even though it does not increase the risk of death or cause more severe symptoms, passing it to someone else is much easier.

"It is known to be more contagious and can cause an infectively rate by 60%-80%," said Dr. Ramachandruni.

Health officials say the new variant does not cause the illness to be more severe or increase the risk of death.

Dr. Ramachandruni said studies show, the COVID-19 vaccines that are being distributed nationwide protect against this new strain, so when it comes time to receive to get vaccinated he urged the community, to get immunized.

"It is crucial everyone receives the COVID-19 as soon as possible as they qualify under various phases," said Dr. Ramachandruni. 

But until the vaccines are available to the general public, the public must continue to practice those safety protocols which include wearing a mask and social distancing

Officials hosted a joint news conference to brief the public. Re-watch it below.

For the latest updates on coronavirus in the Coastal Bend, click here.

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