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IDPH: New COVID-19 strain detected in Iowa – KCCI Des Moines

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May 4, 2021

The Iowa Department of Public Health on Tuesday confirmed two cases of the COVID-19 variant, SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617 in Iowa. Iowa Public Health officials said this variant is also referred to as the India variant because it was first detected there. Scientists are still learning about the characteristics of this strain.“B.1.617 is not designated as a ‘variant of concern,’ indicating that there is not currently evidence of increased transmissibility or more severe disease caused by this variant. However, we share this information as a matter of public interest given the virus impact and newly issued travel restrictions to India. The P.1 and B.1.1.7 variant strains which were previously confirmed by IDPH are considered ‘variants of concern.’” IDPH said through a news release.Health officials said the cases were detected in an adult and an older adult in Jefferson County. IDPH and local public health have initiated contact with the individuals to understand exposures and initiate the public health monitoring process. IDPH said the case was identified by the State Hygienic Lab. “Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is the best way to prevent this, or any other currently circulating strain of the virus from spreading through the population. Since the vaccine is now open to all Iowans over the age of 16, we have the opportunity to use this tool to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our communities,” said Dr. Caitlin Pedati, IDPH State Medical Director and Epidemiologist.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tracking COVID-19 variants here.Find out how you can get vaccinated in Iowa here.

The Iowa Department of Public Health on Tuesday confirmed two cases of the COVID-19 variant, SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617 in Iowa.

Iowa Public Health officials said this variant is also referred to as the India variant because it was first detected there. Scientists are still learning about the characteristics of this strain.

“B.1.617 is not designated as a ‘variant of concern,’ indicating that there is not currently evidence of increased transmissibility or more severe disease caused by this variant. However, we share this information as a matter of public interest given the virus impact and newly issued travel restrictions to India. The P.1 and B.1.1.7 variant strains which were previously confirmed by IDPH are considered ‘variants of concern.’” IDPH said through a news release.

Health officials said the cases were detected in an adult and an older adult in Jefferson County. IDPH and local public health have initiated contact with the individuals to understand exposures and initiate the public health monitoring process.

IDPH said the case was identified by the State Hygienic Lab.

“Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is the best way to prevent this, or any other currently circulating strain of the virus from spreading through the population. Since the vaccine is now open to all Iowans over the age of 16, we have the opportunity to use this tool to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our communities,” said Dr. Caitlin Pedati, IDPH State Medical Director and Epidemiologist.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tracking COVID-19 variants here.

Find out how you can get vaccinated in Iowa here.

 

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