LANCASTER, Wis. — The first case of a COVID-19 variant has been confirmed in Grant County, local public health officials announced Monday.

One case of the B.1.351 variant has been confirmed among county residents, according to the county health department.

The variant was first detected in South Africa in October, and “researchers have found that this strain also spreads more rapidly and easily” than the original form of the virus, a press release states.

“Unfortunately, finding a variant strain of COVID-19 is not unexpected,” said Jeff Kindrai, the county health department director and health officer, in the release. “However, it is a good reminder to get vaccinated to help control the spread of COVID-19 and to reduce the chances of variant strains causing difficulties in the future.”

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