South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) has just reported finding at least 4 individual cases of the highly contagious B.1.617 Covid-19 variant, which was first discovered in India.
According to the CDC, the new strain is now believed to be more contagious than standard SARS-CoV-2 and that normal public health measures (masking, social distancing, and hand washing) can greatly reduce the new variant’s spread.
The CDC also notes that the B.1.617 variant has:
- Potential reduction in neutralization by some EUA monoclonal antibody treatments
- Potential reduction in neutralization by post-vaccination sera
While it might have some impact on the vaccines, experts don’t currently believe that its unique mutations will be enough to significantly weaken protection against serious illness.
Please stay cautious out there!