New COVID-9 strain expected to make it to the Magic Valley

Health experts explain how this new strain doesn’t require different protocols than those already being followed
Published: Jan. 8, 2021 at 6:17 PM MST
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — A new strain of the coronavirus is being discovered in the United States. Predictions are all pointing towards it eventually making it to Idaho and the Magic Valley.

This new variant is said to be 70% more contagious than the original and second mutation. It was first discovered in the United Kingdom and caused a frenzy during the holidays. It has now made it to the U.S. with many cases found in some states.

According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is the National Institutes of Health Director, it was inevitable that the UK variant made it to the America’s and he predicts it will spread all across the United States.

“The RNA sequence of the COVID and the mutations within that are not relevant to their care in the hospital, or frankly their care outside the hospital,” said Dr. Laura McGeorge who is the System Service Line Medical Director at St. Luke’s Health System. “We still have the same quarantine recommendations, the same recommendation on treatment of these patients.”

Dr. McGeorge also explained, that the preliminary research suggests the vaccine will work just as well against this new strain. As even more mutations are expected. It is possible that with these mutations, booster shots for the coronavirus could be needed every year, just like when dealing with influenza.

However, according to Brianna Bodily from South Central Public Health District, we still do not have enough research to know whether or not COVID-19 will be the same as the flu.

“We are still so new to this virus, and it’s impossible to say immediately if we are going to need to have a booster shot every year. That is something that will come up as the CDC learns more and have enough research. Maybe these variants that have been introduced to our world right now won’t need a booster shot but we may need one down the road. That is absolutely the nature of viruses, they change, and we need to adapt along to change with them,” expressed Bodily.

In conclusion, the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from this new strain of the coronavirus, is to continue following COVID-19 protocols. That means wash your hands, social distance and wear a mask.

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