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Mississippi reports first cases of two California COVID-19 variants; 34 variant cases statewide



CA – Mississippi has reported its first cases of two COVID-19 strains from California.

Four people in the state have been found to have a case of the B.1.427 variant and three of the B.1.429 variant.

“Like other previously identified COVID-19 variant strains of concern, these strains have shown increased transmissibility, potential evidence of reduced protection from vaccines, and resistance to one or more monoclonal antibody treatments for COVID-19 infection,” the health department wrote in a tweet Friday afternoon.

At a roundtable discussion with the Mississippi State Medical Association later Friday afternoon, State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs called COVID-19 variants “the bad stuff.”

“Variants is the thing that’s gonna vex us if we’re not careful,” he said.

The health department has begun listing variant cases by county on its website.

So far, the data show, 34 variant cases have been found statewide.

Twenty-six of these are of the B.1.1.7 or United Kingdom variant, first reported in Mississippi on Feb. 15.

There is one case of the B.1.351 South African variant, first reported last Friday in Harrison County. That case was related to travel, Dobbs noted at the roundtable, saying it “may be a one-off.”

The four B.1.427 California variant cases were identified in DeSoto, Hinds and Lafayette Counties.

The three B.1.429 California variant cases were reported in Copiah, Holmes, and Quitman Counties.