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The so-called “delta variant” of COVID-19 detected in Hawaii, says DOH


Honolulu (HawaiiNewsNow)-Hawaii health officials reported on Monday that the islands had the latest COVID mutants.

DOH said regular genomic sequence surveillance conducted by the State Research Institute found SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.617.2 (also known as delta variant) in individuals on Oahu.

Officials said the person had been completely vaccinated against COVID-19 before traveling to Nevada in early May. At that time, mutations were reported in the state.

When the person returned to Hawaii with a negative COVID test, DOH said he began to experience mild symptoms and later tested positive. The person was put into quarantine with their close contact.

Authorities said there were no signs of an outbreak at home or secondary cases were reported.

The first reported delta mutant in India now accounts for about 6% of all cases in the United States, health officials said.

“Early evidence suggests that the delta mutant may spread more rapidly than other SARS-CoV-2 strains,” said Edward Desmond, director of state research. “There are reports that the Delta variant has a higher incidence of serious illness than the original COVID-19, but there is not yet sufficient evidence to support that conclusion.”

This variant is a concern for the CDC, and DOH is working with other states to learn more about it. Vaccination is not 100% effective in preventing infection, but authorities still recommend that the general public receive the dose.

“Vaccines not only prevent infections, but also protect them from serious illnesses,” said Dr. Elizabeth Char, director of state health. “This is one of the very rare and groundbreaking cases where the vaccine did not prevent the infection, but the infected did not have a serious illness.”

State laboratories continue to monitor genome sequences on a regular basis.

Copyright 2021 Hawaii News Now. All copyrighted.


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