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UK COVID-19 variant detected in Jacksonville

The new strain called B.1.1.7. is 35% to 45% more transmissible than other strains of the virus currently in the country.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A case of the COVID U.K. variant has been detected in Jacksonville according to the Duval County Health Department.

The Health Department says only one variant case has been detected at this time and that it's confident the vaccine is effective in fighting it off.

The coronavirus variant first identified the U.K. is doubling every 10 days in the U.S., according to a new study. 

The report — not yet peer-reviewed — found the new strain called B.1.1.7. is 35%-45% more transmissible than other strains of the virus currently in the country.

Dr. Greg Poland, professor of medicine and infectious diseases at Mayo Clinic and director of Mayo's Vaccine Research Group, said the model appears to be appropriate and duplicates what we saw in the U.K. with this variant

Over 347 cases of this B.1.1.7  variant strain have been identified in Florida, according to the Center for Disease Control.

You may be wondering why the cases are so high in the Sunshine State.

“Because of the global nature of this and the prevalence of travel, it’s very easy for variants to spread,"s aid Dr. Elizabeth Ransom, Executive Vice President and Chief Physician Executive with Baptist Health. "It’s possible the variant is actually more widespread than what we’re seeing right now.”

Ransom says it’s important to stay vigilant with the increase of the UK coronavirus variant in Florida. Carry hand sanitizer with you, physical distance with those outside your household, and continue to wear your mask.

“The variant is present in our environment, and knowing that it’s a more contagious variant, makes it all the more important to be safe and to be careful," Ransom said.