5 more in Vegas area reported with UK coronavirus variant

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 LAS VEGAS — Health officials in Las Vegas say five more area residents have been found to have the contagious coronavirus variant first identified in the United Kingdom.
The Southern Nevada Health District said Tuesday that each had close contact with a woman whose case was reported Jan. 25, the first in Nevada.
Officials had said that woman was in her 30s, had no travel history and reported limited contact with people outside her household.
Among the three men and two females with new cases, the oldest is in his 30s. None reported any recent travel.
Tests have been sent to the Nevada State Public Health Laboratory in Reno for genetic sequencing and confirmation, the agency said.
Separate genetic variants of COVID-19 first identified in Britain, South Africa and Brazil have been detected in recent weeks in the U.S. Authorities say the strains appear to spread more quickly between people, and studies are looking at whether they are resistant to vaccines.
Nevada recorded its deadliest month of the coronavirus pandemic in January, with 1,132 reported fatalities statewide accounting for more than one in four of the deaths reported since last March.
Nevada on Wednesday reported 750 new cases of coronavirus and 49 deaths. Since the start of the pandemic, Nevada has reported 280,707 cases and 4,373 deaths.
The number of infections is thought to be far higher than reported because many people have not been tested. Studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.
State health officials said Wednesday that, in addition to state and county health websites offering information about vaccination, Nevada has launched a call center to answer questions about vaccines and to help people making appointments. The call center is open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day and can be reached at 1-800-401-0946.


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