Massachusetts health officials have announced the state’s first case of the more infectious coronavirus variant first found in the United Kingdom.

A Boston woman who traveled to the United Kingdom felt sick the day after she returned, the state Department of Public Health said Sunday. The health department said it was notified of her test results on Saturday evening.

The woman in her 20s had tested negative for COVID-19 before leaving the U.K., officials said.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the variant is about 50 percent more contagious than the other strain that is currently causing the bulk of cases in this country.

Health officials said that by March the new strain will likely become the dominant strain of the coronavirus in the United States. The CDC says there’s no evidence that it causes more severe illness or is transmitted differently so mask wearing, social distancing and hand washing and other prevention strategies can still work.


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