Northern Virginia resident diagnosed with COVID-19 UK variant

A rapid-spreading UK variant of the novel coronavirus has been identified in a Northern Virginia resident, the state health department said on Monday.

READ MORE: 2 UK variant COVID-19 cases identified in Maryland

They declined to specify where the person lives in the region, but noted that they had not traveled recently.

The news comes two weeks after a couple Maryland were diagnosed with the mutated version of the virus.

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Initial information from health officials indicated that while the variant spreads faster than the previously encountered version of COVID-19 that has been ravaging the U.S. since March 2020, the strain from the UK is not more lethal.

A new study suggests from British experts, however, suggests the opposite.

READ MORE: UK COVID-19 variant ‘may be’ more deadly, prime minister says

According to the Virginia health department, the new strain has been identified in 23 states as of Jan. 22.