First case of delta COVID-19 variant confirmed in Hidalgo County


A rendering of coronavirus via the CDC.

HIDALGO COUNTY, Texas (KVEO)—The first case of the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 has been confirmed in Hidalgo County, according to Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez.

The man who tested positive is 33 years old and unvaccinated. He is from the mid-valley area of Hidalgo County.

“The delta variant is now the most active, contagious, and dangerous strain of COVID-19, and its presence in Hidalgo County, while expected at some point, is yet another warning that the dangers of COVID-19 are still real,” Cortez said.

The man had not received any COVID-19 vaccine but had traveled extensively both in-state and out of state, according to health officials.

He tested positive for COVID-19 after being hospitalized out of state. He returned home and traveled again to the North Texas area where he was hospitalized once again. It was there that state officials determined he had the delta variant. The individual was never hospitalized in Hidalgo County.

Before Thursday, 23 people in Hidalgo County had been diagnosed with different variants of COVID-19:

  • 16 people had been diagnosed with the alpha variant, first discovered in the UK
  • 6 people had been diagnosed with the gamma variant, first discovered in Brazil
  • 1 person had been diagnosed with the epsilon variant, first discovered in California

There are now 11 variants of the deadly COVID-19 virus, explained Eduardo Olivarez, chief administrative officer for the Hidalgo County Health and Human Services Department.

The delta variant was first discovered in India.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that evidence suggests the delta variant is more transmissible than the other variants of the COVID-19 virus.

The delta variant has now been identified in as many as 60 countries, including the United States where the first case, an Oklahoma resident, was identified in April 2021.

“This is why it is so important for all of us to get vaccinated,” Cortez said. “We must continue to take this disease seriously.”

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