Health officials say new COVID-19 Variant is fast spreading

Top Stories

This electron microscope image made available and color-enhanced by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Integrated Research Facility in Fort Detrick, Md., shows Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, orange, isolated from a patient. (NIAID/National Institutes of Health via AP)

Mich. (WLNS)- The Washtenaw County Health Department reported on Saturday the first case of the new Covid-19 variant strain in Michigan.

The Covid-19 Variant was found in an adult female living in Washtenaw County, who traveled to the United Kingdom.

Dr. James Richard from Sparrow Hospital says he expected the Coronavirus to eventually mutate. He says the current testing identifies when someone has Covid-19, but not if its specifically the variant.

“The only way you can tell the difference is on the variant is what you call sequencing to unwind the complete genetic makeup of the virus and so that’s very detailed and requires an awful lot of very specific testing that’s not done routinely,” says Dr. Richard.

The new strain comes to our state just weeks before restaurants and bars may be able to reopen for indoor service. The Ingham County Health Officer, Linda Vail says if people don’t take proper precautions, cases could sky rocket because the variant is fast spreading.

“This is a more transmission strain our community, in general is going to be trouble if too many people all get sick at the same time, the health care system can’t adequately take care of too many people who are seriously ill.”

However, there’s some good news.
Dr. Richard says our current vaccinations can fight the new variant, as well.

“Multiple proteins are being put into the vaccine an effort to generate an immune response directed at the virus so it should pick up the one we were testing all long as well as the variant,” says Dr. Richard

So far the state is only reporting one case of the Covid-19 variant.
Health officials are strongly requiring people to get vaccinated if they are eligible and to continue taking precautions to help fight the spread

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Michigan Headlines

More Michigan

StormTracker 6 Radar