A 40-year-old Texas woman has died from the highly contagious UK strain of COVID-19.
Felicia Parker passed away at a Houston hospital on Saturday, five days after she was admitted to the facility because she was having trouble breathing.
Subsequent testing confirmed that Parker had contracted the UK variant of the coronavirus, known as B 1.1.7 and dubbed ‘Super COVID’ because it is feared to be up to 70 percent more transmissible.
Relatives say they have no idea how Parker contracted that particular strain of the disease.
So far, 82 ‘Super COVID’ infections have been detected in 10 states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas.
While the strain is more transmissible, doctors say it is not more deadly.
Felicia Parker, 40, passed away at a Houston hospital on Saturday after testing positive to the highly-infectious UK stain of COVID-19
Relative Romeka James told news network KTRK that Parker first fell ill over the holidays.
The mom-of-two had recently been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.
‘This is serious. ‘This is not just another person. This is someone’s mother, someone’s sister,’ James stated.
‘We have to be really safe, we have to follow the CDC guidelines. It’s not just another number. It’s somebody’.
A GoFundMe account has been set up for Parker, who did not have life insurance.
One person, paying tribute to Parker, wrote: ‘She always had a warm smile and an encouraging word to share with everyone she encountered. A mighty and powerful woman of God that wasn’t ashamed to share her faith’.
Relatives say they have no idea how Parker contracted that particular strain of the disease. The mom-of-two did not have life insurance
A total of 82 cases of the new ‘super-COVID’ variant first detected in the UK have been identified in 10 states, according to a DailyMail.com tally of federal and local data
Meanwhile, other variants of COVID-19, originally detected in South Africa and Japan, have shown up in the US.
Many have criticized US health agencies for failing to adequately detect and track these new strains that have somehow made their way into the country.
Health experts say the variants provide cause for the Trump administration to ramp up nationwide vaccination efforts, which have been lagging since the rollout started in December.
The vaccines are said to be effective against those strains.
Alarmingly, however, the US has now detected its own homegrown ‘super-covid’ variants that are more infectious than the most common coronavirus types.
Alarmingly, however, the U.S. has now detected its own homegrown ‘super-covid’ variants that are more infectious than the most common coronavirus types. Pictured: a patient being treated for COVID-19 in California on Tuesday
One of the new, more infectious variants has already become dominant in Columbus, Ohio, where it was discovered. This unique US variant has three mutations not seen in the others from the UK and South Africa.
So far, this homegrown variant has been seen in about 20 samples since Ohio State University (OSU) scientists first detected it in December. It’s now present in most of the samples they are sequencing.
A second variant has mutations identical to the UK variant’s, but arose completely independently on American soil, according to Ohio State University scientists. Just one person with this variant has been found.
‘We are now in a period where the virus is changing quite substantially…so we are concerned,’ Dr Daniel Jones, one of the Ohio State University (OSU) scientists involved in the discovery, told local press.
It comes after Dr Deborah Birx warned over the weekend that the patter of COVID-19 case spikes suggested the US could already have its own 50 percent more infectious ‘super-covid’ variant.
Scientists are quite sure both American variants are more infectious, but don’t know yet whether they will be immune to vaccines.