CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — The new strain of COVID-19 that’s surfaced in the U.S. is raising a lot of questions about if the new variant is more severe. It also has people wondering if there are other ways to keep everyone safe.
Experts says there’s no evidence to support that the new COVID-19 strain is more dangerous, but it is noted that the strain is more transmittable.
New strains of viruses occur when there is a mutation to the virus’ genes.
“These variants are not unusual for viruses in the natural course of a virus to develop different variants throughout its lifetime. There’s no suggestion that these would give more severe illness than the predominate strain that’s here already,” Dr. Peimei He, Infectious Disease Physician said.
The new variant is more transmissible and spreads quickly. These variants need to be identified through genome testing which is not frequently done throughout the United States.
“The U.S. doesn’t employ as much genomic testing and I think since the onset of the various variants in the U.K. the U.S. started to employ more of this testing in various states, and I do believe these have to be done at a tertiary center or specific hospitals,” Dr. He said.
Since the new strain can spread faster, it could come to the mountain state at any time, but experts say COVID-19 plans should remain the same.
“I think what the current COVID-19 pandemic plan that’s employed by the state should apply to even if these variants come into the state,” Dr. He said.
Dr. He says there’s also no evidence the current vaccines the u-s has approved for COVID-19 are not active against the different variants.