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West Virginians work together to combat U.K. variant of COVID-19

Published: Feb. 22, 2021 at 10:54 AM EST
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va (WDTV) - Three cases of the COVID-19′s U.K. Variant or B.1.1.7 were confirmed in the Morgantown area.

According to, West Virginia University they were working with the Monongalia County Health Department in their contact tracing efforts for the local U.K. Variant cases.

Researchers believed that the three people that tested positive for the variant were related.

They added these people did not visit WVU’s campus during the time they would have been contagious.

WVU was also working with the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources and Marshall University to study the U.K. Variant.

Genome testing was one method scientists at Marshall University started to use to find more ways to control and contain different strains of COVID-19.

WVU Virologist, Ivan Martinez began his own research in December when the U.K. Variant first appeared in the United States.

He discovered the variant was mutating at a fast pace, with 17 current known mutations. He believed that was a result of how people’s immune systems react to the virus.

Martinez said quote, “It’s very likely that a person can get infected with the virus but their immune system isn’t good enough to clear the virus. It then has enough time to train itself to make mutation after mutation as it fights the immune system.”

Researchers predicted that within a month the U.K. Variant would become the most dominant strain of the virus in the country.

Despite unknown factors researchers believed that existing vaccines such as, Pfizer and Moderna would work in combatting the U.K. Variant.

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