The South African COVID-19 variant has now been detected in Michigan.

Just because less than 10% of Michigan residents have been vaccinated and the weather is getting warm, that doesn't mean you can celebrate the end of the pandemic quite yet. We are in the home stretch of the pandemic but we all need to continue to wear a mask, keep the hands clean and social distance whether you have been vaccinated or not for at least the rest of this year because there are plenty of dangers from COVID-19 still circulating.

According to WOOD, the COVID-19 variant called B.1.351 has been found in one Michigan resident. A male child living in Jackson County has been identified as having the South African variant.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services are working tirelessly to contract trace the young boy to try and contain this strain of the coronavirus. They have started with the family and friends and anyone who may have come in contact with the young boy.

The biggest problem with this strain of the virus is, it is highly contagious and much more lethal than the standard version of COVID-19.

According to the MDHHS, this variant shares mutations with B.1.1.7. There have already been over 500 cases of B.1.1.7 found in Michigan and that number is growing fast.

The South African variant is now found in 20 states that include Michigan. Scientists are still looking at the data on how the vaccines react with this strain of the virus.

WOOD shared that chief medical executive at MDHHS Dr. Joneigh Khaldun said,

We are concerned about the discovery of another variant in Michigan, although it was not unexpected. We continue to urge Michiganders to follow a research based approach by wearing their masks properly, socially distancing, avoiding crowds, washing their hands often, and making a plan to get the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine once it is their turn. We all have a personal responsibility to slow the spread of COVID-19 and end this pandemic as quickly as possible.

We have a long way to go, please stay focused on the prize at the end and show patience for the rest of this journey.

READ ON: See the States Where People Live the Longest

Stacker used data from the 2020 County Health Rankings to rank every state's average life expectancy from lowest to highest. The 2020 County Health Rankings values were calculated using mortality counts from the 2016-2018 National Center for Health Statistics. The U.S. Census 2019 American Community Survey and America's Health Rankings Senior Report 2019 data were also used to provide demographics on the senior population of each state and the state's rank on senior health care, respectively.

Read on to learn the average life expectancy in each state.

Gallery Credit: Hannah Lang

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