Explained: What we know so far about the new coronavirus variant

ORLANDO, Fla. — On Thursday, Florida became the third state in the country to identify a case of the new COVID-19 variant that was first detected in the United Kingdom.

The case was found in a man in his 20s in Martin County who had no history of travel.

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Other cases have already been reported in Colorado and California.

Dr. Anthony Fauci says the medical community isn’t surprised it’s turning up in the United States.

“This is something that is expected,” Dr. Fauci says. “We likely will be seeing reports from other states.”

The new strain was first reported in the UK in September. Scientists there believe it can spread 50 to 70 times faster than the COVID-19 strain we’re familiar with, but they don’t believe it to be more deadly.

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However, researchers in the UK say they’ve noticed more cases of the variant strain in children, but experts from Johns Hopkins University say that doesn’t necessarily indicate that the new strain is better at infecting children.

As for the source of this new virus, doctors say it likely mutated naturally from its previous form, which is common as a virus spreads through communities

In fact, scientists say they’ve seen more than 4,000 mutations of the Novel Coronavirus since it was first detected in China.

When it comes to guarding against the new strain, experts say the same preventative measures that have been in place should stand for the new variant of the virus.

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Doctors suggest the continued use of masks, washing your hands frequently, limiting gatherings, and practicing social distancing.

Perhaps most importantly, the Florida Department of Health says they expect the current COVID-19 vaccines that are being administered should be effective against the new strain as well.