North Carolina lab identifies 13 cases of COVID-19 variant in US

Coronavirus

MAKO Medical team members processing testing samples in the Henderson, NC laboratory.

RALEIGH, N.C. — A North Carolina lab has identified multiple cases of a variant of COVID-19, according to a news release.

MAKO Medical Laboratories says that 13 test samples have been identified as the B.1.1.7 variant of the virus.

To date, only 122 cases of COVID caused by the variant have been identified, according to the Centers for Disease Control. 

“Our findings show that the mutation has begun to work its way throughout the United States. We are in constant communication with public health leaders to keep them informed and updated,” said Steve Hoover, Vice President of Laboratory Operations at MAKO Medical.

This variant of the virus was first detected in the United Kingdom in September and detected in several other countries as of late 2020.

According to the CDC, B.1.1.7 and other variants are highly contagious and could trigger inaccurate PCR and Antigen test results if the laboratory does not test for multiple viral genes causing the virus to spread even further.

MAKO Medical operates two laboratories, one in Henderson and one in Raleigh. 

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