The Knox County Health Department has received confirmation from the State of Missouri that the COVID-19 British Variant B.1.1.7 is present in Knox County. This variant was first detected in the U.S. in December. Based on data, variant B.1.1.7 is the most common variant across the country. This variant seems to spread more easliy and quickly than other variants, which may lead to more cases of COVID-19. Health officials say vaccination is the most effective and long-lasting tool for protection from this infection.