First two cases of India variant of COVID-19 detected in Iowa

This variant is not designated as a “variant of concern.”
A variant of COVID-19 first found in India is now in Iowa, but is not a particular cause for concern, according to public health officials.
Published: May. 4, 2021 at 11:11 AM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The Iowa Department of Public Health on Tuesday confirmed two cases of the India variant of COVID-19 in Iowa.

Health officials say they’re still learning about the characteristics of the variant, officially named SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617, which was first detected in India.

IDPH said this variant is not designated as a “variant of concern,” because there is currently no evidence of increased transmissibility or severe disease associated with it.

The cases, detected in an adult and an older adult in Jefferson County, are currently the only known cases of the variant in Iowa.

“Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is the best way to prevent this, or any other currently circulating strain of the virus from spreading through the population,” said Dr. Caitlin Pedati, IDPH State Medical Director and Epidemiologist. “Since the vaccine is now open to all Iowans over the age of 16, we have the opportunity to use this tool to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our communities.”

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