Increasing variants threaten progress against COVID-19 fight, Dobbs says

Increasing variants threaten progress against COVID-19 fight, Dobbs says
Dobbs says Mississippi has detected 147 UK variants, 1 South African variant, and 3 Brazilian strains of the virus.

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - State Health Officer Thomas Dobbs is optimistic about Mississippi’s downward trend of COVID-19 cases, but admits the risks against our progress are real.

Dobbs said online, “Cases, deaths, and patients with COVID symptoms continue to decline. Good news for MS but increasing variants threaten our progress.”

Dobbs says Mississippi has detected 147 UK variants, 1 South African variant, and 3 Brazilian strains of the virus.

The South African variant was first found in the Magnolia State in early March and Dobbs warned then the strain appeared to be more contagious than the original COVID-19 virus.

In the same breath, the top health doctor also said the U.K. variant was approximately 61% more deadly.

Despite the warnings, Dobbs said all three vaccines are able to keep you fully protected against the more common UK variant.

It’s why the Mississippi State Department of Health is urging everyone to get vaccinated.

“You need to continue to do those things we’ve talked about from the very beginning… continue to utilize masks, avoid those larger gatherings, make sure you get vaccinated,” State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers said.

Click here to see the MSDH’s latest number of deaths, cases by variant, hospitalizations, and vaccination sites.

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