JACKSON, Miss. (WTVA) - One case of the South African variant (B.1.351) of the coronavirus has been found in Mississippi, the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) confirmed on Friday.
The case was discovered in Harrison County, which is along the Gulf of Mexico.
State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs said the news is concerning, saying this variant may be more contagious and appears to have some resistance to vaccines, specifically the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
He reiterated that Mississippi must continue to be cautious.
State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers said Mississippi must continue to reduce transmission of the virus. This means using masks when in public spaces, avoid large gatherings and getting the vaccine.
In February, Mississippi reported its first case of a COVID-19 variant: the UK variant (B.1.1.7).
Read More: Emerging variants in the United States
As of Friday, March 19, more than 950,000 vaccine doses have been administered in Mississippi.
Three different vaccines are available in the United States: Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.