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South African variant of COVID-19 identified in Kansas




Finney County, Kansas (KWCH)-A South African variant of COVID-19 has been identified in Finney County, according to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE). This is the first known case of a variant in the state.

Mutants were determined by whole genome sequencing performed through the KDHE laboratory. A case study was conducted by the State Department of Health to determine how this particular variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus was infected and whether others may have been exposed. Said that. No further details about the patient, including demographics, have been published.

The B.1.351 variant was originally identified in South Africa in December and Found in 31 states and territories It is not known to cause more serious illness in the United States at this time, and it is not clear if it will spread more easily than other strains. Although this strain may reduce the effectiveness of some vaccines, the vaccines still provide strong protection against serious illness and death.

“We continue to encourage people to take appropriate precautions, such as wearing a mask that fits snugly on the nose and face and is layered with multiple fabrics, as well as a fit. Includes layering thin masks with additional cloth masks to improve. “” Kansas also follows isolation and quarantine recommendations, practices physical distance, good hygiene, and illness. If you are at home, you need to be vaccinated if possible. “

Dr. Dana Hawkinson, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Kansas Health System, said the variant is more susceptible to infection than the COVID-19 virus and can be life-threatening. However, there is not much reliable data at present.

“Sometimes they are associated with increased transmissibility. There is also ongoing research into whether they cause worse, more serious illnesses,” said Dr. Hawkinson. “For now, the jury is still working on that. The investigation is ongoing.”

Although there are still many unknowns, early data suggest that all three COVID-19 vaccines are effective in preventing severe cases from mutants. On Thursday, Pfizer said the vaccine worked well in South African clinical trials.

“Even when vaccinated, even these new variants have excellent efficacy and protection against serious illness, hospitalization, or death,” said Dr. Hawkinson.

Another variant of concern, B.1.1.7, also known as the British variant, was previously identified in Kansas. Currently, 76 cases have been identified in 14 counties. This variant was first reported in the United States at the end of December 2020. Evidence from the United Kingdom shows that this variant spreads much more rapidly throughout the population, and given that fact, can rapidly increase the number of hospitalizations and deaths. Further research is needed to confirm this finding.

The test is available and free in all Kansas. To find a location near you, please visit:

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