(CBS DETROIT)– County health officials in Southeast Michigan working to identify possible cases of the new COVID-19 UK variant after at least 17 cases have been found.

“There are a number of positive cases for COVID that were being tested for the particular variant.”

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This according to Susan Ringler-Cerniglia the public information officer for the Washtenaw County Health Department. The new variant is the UK B117. The county is concerned that more cases will arise after 8 additional cases were identified on Monday, bringing the total number in the County to 13 cases. The state’s health department also announcing 4 cases of the variant have been identified in Wayne County.

Dr. Justin Skrzynski with Beaumont Health, warning people that now is not the time to let down your guard.

“It remains to be seen whether or not this is more deadlier, more aggressive in terms of its clinical picture than just the run of the mill COVID.”

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However, Dr. Skrzynski says this new variant is more contagious and can spread much faster.

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Chief Medical Executive and Chief Deputy Director for Health and Human Services says, there seems to be a silver lining with the new variant.

“Our current test can identify it and our current vaccines appear to work against it.”

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Dr. Khadlun encouraging people to double down on masks wear and continue to take precautions against the coronavirus.

April Morton