LDH paying close attention to new variants coming into Louisiana; two confirmed cases of Brazilian variant

New COVID-19 variants in Louisiana

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Louisiana now has three different versions of COVID-19 identified and possibly spreading across the state.

The Department of Health is keeping a close eye on each strain and is already predicting there will be more variants in the future.

“I do expect there to be more variants, now how much of a problem that is it is really a question waiting to be seen. You are absolutely right the way these variants happen is that every time the virus replicates, every time it transmits from me to you or something else, there’s a chance that these mutations happen,” says Louisiana Department of Health’s Dr. Joseph Kanter.

Doctors and scientists already know that the UK variant is more transmittable than the original COVID virus.

LDH does not have enough data on the Brazilian virus, but they are expecting it to also be more transmittable than the original.

Dr. Kanter says one has to think of it like the flu. Every flu season, doctors see different strains, therefore they make the flu shot able to battle the mutation based on the one that’s currently spreading.

LDH says they are probably going to follow the same protocol with COVID-19.

“How significant these variants will be in the future, we really don’t know, but it is possible that we’ll need booster shots of the vaccine at some point. It’s possible that those two shots will have to be tailored to whatever worrisome variant is at that point in time,” adds Kanter.

No matter what version of COVID-19 you contract, LDH says the symptoms are the same COVID symptoms you’ve heard about throughout the pandemic: cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, maybe fever, chills, headache, sore throat or loss of taste and smell. LDH also recommends that the way to fight off any of these variants is to get vaccinated.

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