First cases of variant Covid discovered in southwest England – .

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First cases of variant Covid discovered in southwest England – .


The first cases of the Omicron Covid variant have been discovered in the southwest of England.
Another 75 cases of the Covid strain have been identified in England, the British Health Security Agency (UKHSA) announced on Friday.

This brings the total number of confirmed cases in England to 104.

Those who tested positive and their contacts have been asked to self-isolate and work is underway to identify any connection to travel, the UKHSA said.

Cases have now been identified in the East Midlands, East England, London, North East, North West, South East, South West and West Midlands .

One case has been identified in Wales. Another 16 cases have been identified in Scotland, bringing the total in Scotland to 29. There are no confirmed cases in Northern Ireland.

UKHSA Executive Director Dr Jenny Harries said: “Increased case detection through targeted contact tracing has identified and confirmed more cases of the Omicron variant, as we have seen. in other countries of the world.

“We continue to closely monitor the data. National and local teams are working at a steady pace to identify and trace all close contacts of each Omicron case. It is essential that anyone with symptoms of Covid-19 self-isolate and receive a PCR test immediately.

“We started to see cases where there is no connection to travel, which suggests that we have a small amount of community transmission. This is why it is so important that everyone, everywhere, take simple steps to protect themselves from infection. Please wear face coverings according to government guidelines, allow fresh air to enter when mixing indoors, and wash your hands regularly.

“Vaccination is essential to help us strengthen our defenses against this new variant, so please get your first, second, third or booster as soon as you are eligible to protect yourself, your families and your communities. “

When people are identified as a possible or probable case of Omicron, their close contacts will be contacted and informed that they must self-isolate for 10 days, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated or received a test result. COVID-19 negative. Anyone contacted or showing symptoms should have a PCR test as soon as possible, even if they have received a positive COVID-19 PCR test in the past 90 days.

UKHSA is working to make scientific information available as quickly as possible to inform the right balance of interventions to prevent transmission and protect lives. This will include the analysis of live samples of the new variant in our laboratories to study the properties, including its response to current vaccines.

Because viruses mutate often and at random, it is not uncommon for a small number of cases to present with new sets of mutations. All variants showing signs of spread are promptly assessed.

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