MADISON COUNTY, ALABAMA, Ala — The Alabama Department of Public Health has identified the highly-transmissible, U.K. variant of COVID-19 in eight Alabama residents across several counties, including Madison County.
Cases have been identified in residents of Autauga, Jefferson, Madison, Mobile and Montgomery counties, as of February 18.
ADPH stressed that at this time, it is believed that the current COVID vaccines should be effective against this strain of the virus, but this belief is still being studied.
The department said it is important to follow the outcomes of people who have been infected with this variant since it is recent to the United States.
Providers are being asked to collect a specimen for patients presenting with a recent taste or smell disorder and other COVID symptoms but have tested negative for the virus. These samples will be submitted to the ADPH Bureau of Clinical Laboratories or a laboratory that performs sequencing.
ADPH is continuing to ask people to take precautionary measures like wearing masks, frequently washing hands and keeping 6-feet distance whenever possible.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a plethora of information on how to protect yourself and other from the coronavirus.
The virus can easily spread from person to person, so the CDC recommends you stay at least 6-feet apart from people not in your household. The virus is spread through respiratory droplets that are produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, breaths or talks, according to the CDC. Because of this, the CDC recommends you wear a cloth facemask when around others and in public.
Additionally, the CDC recommends that you frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Symptoms to look out for include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, a sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting and diarrhea, according to the CDC.
Click here to find more COVID-19 information from the CDC.
If you suspect you have the coronavirus, you should seek out testing and self-quarantine.
Click here to find more COVID-19 information from the Alabama Department of Public Health.