State health officials said Saturday that the first case in the state of a highly contagious variant of the coronavirus has been recorded in northeast Missouri.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said in a statement that the variant of the virus that was first identified last fall in the United Kingdom had been confirmed in a person who lives in Marion County.

This variant of the virus, which is believed to spread faster than the original coronavirus, has already been found in at least 33 states.

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