If the COVID-19 Pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that the medical community and the world needs to be ready for anything. The power of a virus is in its ability to mutate, changing quickly enough that it can keep up with our attempts at treatment. Viruses have shown us time after time they will never stop evolving into new variants regardless if those are harmful or not. Here are some variants of the COVID-19 virus that have been detected in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
B.1.1.7 (Alpha): This variant was first detected in the United States in December 2020. It was initially detected in the United Kingdom.
B.1.351 (Beta): This variant was first detected in the United States at the end of January 2021. It was initially detected in South Africa in December 2020.
P.1 (Gamma): This variant was first detected in the United States in January 2021. P.1 was initially identified in travelers from Brazil, who were tested during routine screening at an airport in Japan, in early January.
B.1.617.2 (Delta): This variant was first detected in the United States in March 2021. It was initially identified in India in December 2020.
These variants seem to spread more easily and quickly than other variants, which may lead to more cases of COVID-19. An increase in the number of cases will put more strain on healthcare resources, lead to more hospitalizations, and potentially more deaths. So far, studies suggest that the current authorized vaccines work on the circulating variants. Scientists will continue to study these and other variants.
Protect yourself from COVID-19
COVID-19 continues to spread in the United States and variants are circulating. Take steps to protect yourself from the virus.
- Get a COVID-19 vaccine when it is available to you.
- Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth to help protect yourself and others.
- Stay 6 feet apart from others who don’t live with you.
- Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available.
Information about the characteristics of these variants is rapidly emerging so it’s essential to stay on top of ways to protect yourself. At Rochester Medical Group, we care about the health of your family! We are doing what we can to make healthcare a little easier for people with a busy schedule. Our physicians are quickly able to diagnose and treat common illnesses and minor injuries to help you get better, faster. We are here to meet the urgent medical care needs of Rochester Hills, Rochester, Troy, and the surrounding communities. Call us today at (248) 844-6000