The strain was first detected in the UK
PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A Multnomah County resident with no known travel history tested positive for the new variant strain of COVID-19, the Oregon health authority said Friday evening.
This is the first case in Oregon of the strain first seen in the UK. Health officials are examining possible sources of the infection, which has already been detected in several other states.
The strain is officially called B.1.1.7 or SARS-CoV-2 VOC 202012/01.
“The detection of the first case of this variant strain is of concern, and we have been monitoring the movement of this strain,” Oregon state epidemiologist Dr. Dean Sidelinger said in a statement. “As we learn more about this case and the individual who tested positive for this strain, the OHA continues to promote effective public health measures, including wearing masks, maintaining six feet physical distance, stay home, wash hands, and avoid gatherings and travel. “
Early January, Sidelinger told KOIN 6 News he is concerned about the new variety but that does not prevent him from sleeping at night.
“I think the data we have shows that, yes, this is a new variant. It may be more easily transmitted, but we have a few tools to find it. “
He also said that whenever a virus mutates, scientists are concerned. But viruses do it all the time. And while this strain may be more contagious, it seems new vaccines will continue to effectively protect people.
“Confirming this strain locally is painful,” said Dr Jennifer Vines, Multnomah County health officer. “Until we have enough vaccines, we need to continue to use face masks, to distance ourselves and to limit our social interactions.”
The COVID vaccine is being deployed. But the little cloth mask is the real star in helping to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
“We really needed to step up and start sharing a clear message about what we can do to slow this thing down as communities, locally, nationally, at all possible levels,” said Dr John Lynch of the Universtiry of the Washington Department of Medicine, where he is an associate professor.
Lynch is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. After a year of experience, research and data, they felt that as a nation we were always behind.
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