First case of India COVID-19 variant confirmed in Michigan

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News

The first case of the India variant of COVID-19 has been identified in Clinton County north of Lansing, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services spokesman Bob Wheaton told The Detroit News Friday.

The new variant, B.1.617, was initially detected in India in October with two mutations, E484Q and L452R, according to the World Health Organization.

A dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is prepared in a syringe.

The state health department did not release further information about the infected Michigan resident or how many people may have been exposed.

Emerging research indicates the India variant may be more transmissible than previous variants. 

The variant is the sixth found in Michigan.

As of Thursday, Michigan has the second-highest number of cases of the United Kingdom variant B.1.1.7. with 5,616 cases in 80 jurisdictions.

The first case of the South African variant B.1.351 was confirmed by the state Bureau of Laboratories in a boy living in Jackson County. There are a total of 26 cases of the variant now.

The first case of the P.1 variant from Brazil was identified in a Bay County resident. There are now 66 confirmed cases of P.1.

There are also 231 confirmed cases of B.1.427 and B.1.429, two variants formed in California. 

Wayne County has the largest spread of the B.1.1.7 variant with more than 556 cases including 157 in Detroit. Wayne, Washtenaw, Macomb and Genesse counties have five of six variants. Clinton County has all the reported variants.

Twitter: @SarahRahal_