Local doctor explains new COVID-19 variants

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LEWISBURG, WV (WVNS) — In September of 2020, a new variant of COVID-19 was discovered. That variant made it to a few states in the United States. The variant is coming from South Africa and the UK.

Assistant Professor of Clinical Science at WVSOM, Dr. Lauren Miller, explained how that is possible.

“When we see the pictures that come up of COVID or the Coronavirus that causes COVID-19, it has those little spikes all around the ball and so what is happening is there are variant changes in those little spikes,” Miller said.

Miller said while it has not been determined the variants are more dangerous, research is showing they are more contagious. 

“It’s not necessarily that it transmits quicker, but that it could potentially get more people,” Miller said. “So the likelihood if there are four people in a room how many people would end up getting this virus from someone.”

Miller said just because you had COVID-19, does not mean you are immune to the variants. So taking the proper precautions is still a must. 

“Our social distancing, our not having big get togethers. Trying to make sure that our task are essential. Outdoor activities,” Miller said.

Miller also said another way to potentially help lessen the spread of the new variants is to get the COVID-19 vaccine when it is available to your age group. 

For more information on the new COVID-19, variants visit the CDC website.

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