3 cases of more severe COVID variants found in Tulare County

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Tulare County health officials reported the county's first three cases of COVID-19 variants on Friday.

The health department said two people had contracted the U.K. coronavirus variant, B.1.1.7, which was first detected in the United Kingdom. It is estimated to be 50% more transmissible and be more severe.

Another person had tested positive for the South African variant, B.1.351, which is also found to be more infectious than other variants. According to the California Department of Public Health, the South African variant may "moderately decrease response to antibody treatments," such as vaccinations.

Health officials are warning residents to continue practicing health and safety protocols, including wearing face masks and social distancing.

They're also encouraging residents who are eligible to get vaccinated.

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