MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A COVID-19 variant found in the monumental case surge in India has now been detected in Shelby County, according to the Memphis-Shelby County COVID-19 Joint Task Force.
David Sweat, chief of epidemiology for Shelby County, said the B1617 variant, which is one of several responsible for India’s surge, was detected this week in Shelby County through COVID-19 testing.
The World Health Organization declared the B1617 variant a variant of interest.
Sweat said so far just one case of the new strain was found in Shelby County. The individual recently visited India and developed symptoms upon returning. The individual is isolated while contacts are quarantined and tested.
Sweat said testing remains important not only for people to know their status but to monitor the arrival of new strains in Shelby County.
Shelby County reported 175 new COVID-19 cases Thursday. It’s the 23rd day of April with more than 100 new daily cases. There were no additional deaths reported Thursday.
So far, Shelby County has had 95,262 cases and 1,617 deaths.
There are 1,577 active cases in the county.
Sweat said Shelby County has now achieved 44 percent of its goal of vaccinating 700,000 residents. About 23-percent of Shelby Countians are now considered fully vaccinated.
The Tennessee Department of Health reported another 1,092 COVID-19 cases bringing the state’s total to 846,472 and 17 additional deaths. That’s 3,413 more cases since the beginning of this week.
The state has seen a virus death toll of more than 12,188 since the start of the pandemic.