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Alabama father of two who contracted UK COVID-19 variant dies at 35

A family in Jefferson County, Alabama is in mourning after a father-of-two died from from the British COVID-19 variant, aged just 35. 

Alfonzia Jackson Jr., 35, was diagnosed with the B.1.1.7 variant earlier last week while struggling to live at the UAB hospital.

On Tuesday night, his wife, Ashley Jackson, took to Facebook around 9pm to announced that Alfonzia had died.

‘Lord this day has been hard,’ Ashley posted on Facebook. ‘I wouldn’t wish this on anyone as I said good bye to my amazing husband.’

She continued: ‘Our girls are going to truly miss you, you were an amazing dad and I will keep your memory alive through them and they will always remember you.

Alfonzia Jackson Jr., husband to Ashley and father to two daughters, passed on Tuesday night

Jackson had the UK COVID-19 variant

He was on a ventilator in the days leading up to his death

Jackson had the UK COVID-19 variant and was on a ventilator in the days leading to his death

‘You are now our guardian Angel and you are at peace, rest on my amazing husband until we meet again.’

She also posted an emotional tribute featuring pictures and videos of the family, set to I’ll Be Missing You.

WBRC previously reported about Alfonzia Jackson Jr., who Ashley said was admitted to the hospital with COVID symptoms and shortness of breath on January 22, despite her having no idea how he would’ve contracted the virus.

‘My husband just went to work and home,’ Ashley Jackson said. ‘Gas station here and there. Not nothing like going out and having a good time, just a hardworking man.’ 

Rapid tests showed a negative diagnosis for COVID-19, but after surgery to relieve heart failure, a PCR test showed that Alfonzia did have COVID-19.

Ashley Jackson announced Alfonzia's death on Facebook with an emotional tribute

Ashley Jackson announced Alfonzia’s death on Facebook with an emotional tribute

Alfonzia Jackson Jr. was admitted to the hospital on January 22 with COVID symptoms

Alfonzia Jackson Jr. was admitted to the hospital on January 22 with COVID symptoms

The Jefferson County Health Department later called Ashley to tell her that Alfonzia had the U.K. variant.

Alfonzia was placed on a ventilator in the days before he died.

A GoFundMe page originally set up to pay for medical expenses has raised over $131,000 for the family so far.

Mutations of COVID-19 were always possible, as viruses are often characterized by their ability to change and adapt.

It's unclear how the father of two could've contracted the virus, according to his wife

It’s unclear how the father of two could’ve contracted the virus, according to his wife

A GoFundMe initially set aside for medical expenses has raised over $131,000 for the family

A GoFundMe initially set aside for medical expenses has raised over $131,000 for the family

Mutated strains from the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Brazil have come into focus recently, however, with the UK strain becoming the most prevalent mutation in the United States.

The latest from the CDC reports 541 cases of the UK mutation in the United States in 33 different states.

Meanwhile, there have been just five reported cases of the other significant mutations combined to this point.

Among the variants in the United States, the UK strain is the most dominant, with it spreading to 33 states and counting so far and accounting for over 500 cases

Among the variants in the United States, the UK strain is the most dominant, with it spreading to 33 states and counting so far and accounting for over 500 cases

The UK variant was initially believed to only be more contagious, although UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has since said it may also be more deadly.

The two vaccines currently available in the United States are thought to be effective against the variants, although booster shots might be required down the line.

Last week, a person in New Jersey died of the UK variant, which is believed to be the first death of the strain in the United States.

The person who died in New Jersey had no recent history of any international travel.

Alabama has seen just three confirmed cases of the UK variant, although shortfalls in sequencing of the virus around the country leave open the possibility that the strain is much more prevalent than is being reported. 

The death toll from COVID-19 is approaching 450,000 in the United States

The death toll from COVID-19 is approaching 450,000 in the United States

The tragedy in that state comes on the heels of some positive developments in the fight against COVID-19.

The latest data from Johns Hopkins University showed a 44 percent decline in coronavirus cases from three weeks ago over a seven-day rolling period.

With vaccination rates remaining relatively low in the United States, it’s not believed to be a factor in the declining numbers, making the outlook even rosier.

Instead, the decline may be able to be attributed to a decrease in travel since the end of the holiday season.

It may also be due to a lower count of cases than those who have actually contracted the virus, with antibodies hopefully protecting those people.

In total, there have been over 26 million COVID-19 cases in the United States, with the death toll quickly approaching 450,000.


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