RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The new COVID-19 strain called B.1.1.7 variant was identified in a person in the Charlotte area Saturday. It’s the first case recorded in North Carolina.
Nearly 200 cases have been documented so far across the United States and some people worry it will make its way to the Triangle.
“COVID started in China and it got here, so Charlotte, it’s not too far,” said Tera Johnson, an Apex resident.
Health leaders in Britain — where the variant was initially detected — warned to take the new strain seriously.
“In addition to spreading more quickly it also may be associated with a higher degree of mortality,” said British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The news comes as COVID-19 numbers continue to rise across North Carolina. Current COVID-19 vaccines are expected to be effective against the new variant.
However, the news of the variant in Mecklenburg County still leaves many concerned.
“It’s scary and I just say for everyone to protect themselves, wear your mask, wash your hands, stay six feet apart. You just gotta be careful the world has changed on us overnight,” said Kendra Hill of Cary.
The variant has already been reported in 21 states.
The CDC says if proper steps aren’t taken it could become the main COVID-19 variant in the U.S. by March.