Hawaii well being officers stated they’re searching for new strains of COVID-19 which have turned up in different nations and a handful of states and that might be extra contagious.
Latest variants first found within the UK and South Africa have unfold extra simply and shortly than different strains and have already reached different nations, together with Canada and the Continental US. This week, Colorado and California reported the primary recognized circumstances of essentially the most probably infectious pressure within the US.
The Hawaii State Laboratory Division started its molecular surveillance in June and up to now has carried out genome sequencing on almost 700 viral RNA samples, in response to a information launch from the state Division of Well being on Thursday. Neither variant B1.1.7 nor B.1.351, the strains discovered within the UK and South Africa respectively, have been present in Hawaii, however that does not imply the strains aren’t right here or will not arrive sooner or later, the division stated. . .
“There isn’t any proof that these variants trigger extra critical sickness or improve the chance of loss of life, however analysis exhibits that they unfold a lot sooner than the COVID-19 already present in Hawaii.” Well being Division Director Dr. Libby Char stated in a press launch. “These new strains remind us how essential it’s to keep away from massive gatherings, put on masks and observe bodily distancing as we begin the brand new 12 months.”
DOH is collaborating with the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention to detect new variants of COVID-19 and comprise their unfold, in response to the press launch. The CDC has employees in Hawaii to help the investigation of viral variants ought to they be discovered.
“We’re carefully monitoring the state of affairs”, stated Dr. Edward Desmond, director of the State Laboratory Division. “Up to now, there may be nothing to recommend that COVID-19 vaccines are ineffective in opposition to the brand new variants, however we nonetheless have so much to find out about them.”