State testing for proteins related to new COVID-19 strain that’s ‘more transmissible’

Coronavirus

INDIANAPOLIS (WANE) – Reports from overseas about a new coronavirus strain that seem to spread more easily is causing concern as people see case number rising across the globe. During Governor Eric Holcomb’s weekly COVID-19 briefing, Dr. Kristina Box addresses how the state is handling the potential arrival of the new strain.

“To date, we do not think it is a more lethal strain – as far as severity of illness and increased deaths,” Dr. Box said. “But [it’s] much more transmissible. People get infected more easily.”

The state does have the ability to test for the new stain, and Dr. Box says that laboratories are testing for the mutation protein.

With the recently approved Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, there’s concern about how it will impact the new strain.

“To our knowledge, our vaccines will still not be affected by this mutation in this particular strain,” Dr. Box explains.

She adds that only time will tell if this is accurate.

“If individuals who have been vaccinated end up infected, then it’s great to test to see what strain that particular individual was infected with.”

While the COVID-19 virus continues to be present in our lives, Dr. Box reminds Hoosiers to continue to mask up, wash hands, social distance, stay home if you’re sick and get tested.

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