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New South African Variant Confirmed in Low Country

February 24, 2021

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New South African Variant Confirmed in Low CountryAn article published on Count on News 2 titled "Low Country Doctors Suspect Many More Cases of the South African COVID-19 Variant" reported that health leaders are responding to the latest two discoveries of the South African COVID-19 variant cases in the state. However, many think the actual number of cases is much higher than that. The SC Department of Health and Environment Control confirmed one case was found in the Low Country area and the other in the Pee Dee region.

Dr. Krutika Kuppalli, an infectious diseases physician from the Medical University of South Carolina, believes the state needs to increase testing for these new mutations. Studies showed that the two individuals infected with the new variant did not have any contact or links to each other. She warns that there could be more people in the community with this particular strain. Although DHEC officials say there is no evidence claiming the South African Variant (B.1.351) causes any more severe illnesses, medical experts worldwide claim it spreads more easily.

This South African strain is different from the UK variant (B.1.1.7). Dr. Kuppalli finds it hard to believe that South Carolina doesn't have any cases from that variant despite neighboring states, like Georgia and North Carolina, reporting new cases of the UK variant. Nevertheless, medical experts trust both Pfizer and Moderna vaccine's efficacy as it will likely protect individuals from both variants. "The vaccine is not a golden bullet. We have to use the vaccine with all the other public health measures we've been talking about for the last year if we're going to get this pandemic under control," says Dr. Kuppalli.

For more information, make sure you head over to the article by clicking here: Low Country Doctors Suspect Many More Cases of the South African COVID-19 Variant


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