There's a new variant of COVID-19 and, although it won't get you more sick, it will get more people sick faster. "MORE SPREAD — MORE CASES — MORE DEATHS," says a new warning from the CDC. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is equally concerned. He appeared on Meet the Press yesterday with an urgent warning about how to avoid the variant. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
Dr. Fauci Says the New COVID-19 Variant Will Get More People Sick
"Well, we're taking it really very seriously," Fauci said when asked by host Chuck Todd if we should be concerned. "You don't want people to panic, but you have to look at it from a certain standpoint."
The variants have come from the United Kingdom and South Africa and Brazil. "There's no doubt when you look at what the Brits—and now remember, people need to realize there's more than one mutant strain. There's one from the UK. That's essentially dominated. That's the one that is actually seen in the United States. There's another more ominous one. That's in South Africa and Brazil. We're looking at all of them, very, very carefully age determined."
"The Brits have made it very clear that it's more contagious," Fauci continued. "They say that it isn't more virulent, but we gotta be careful because the more cases you get, even though on a one-to-one basis, it's not more virulent, meaning it doesn't make you more sick or more likely to die just by numbers alone. The more cases you have, the more hospitalizations you're going to happen. The more hospitalizations you have, the more deaths you're going to have."
Dr. Fauci said he didn't know how this impacted the vaccine. "The thing we really want to look at carefully is that does that mutation lessen the impact of the vaccine? And if it does Chuck, then we're going to have to make some modifications, but we're all over that. We're looking at that really very carefully."
How to Avoid the New COVID Mutation
"Well, I think one of the things we've got to do, Chuck, and maybe the silver lining, if you want to call that, is that when you have a variant, that's really very, very different in the sense of it's more contagious, it tells you to do two things: One, double down on the public health measures that we've been talking about all the time, be very compulsive as the President-elect says, at least for the first hundred days—and maybe more—everybody wear a mask, keep the distance, avoid the congregate settings. But also another important thing, the easiest way to evade this negative effect of these new isolates is to just when the vaccine becomes available, people should get vaccinated. Boy, if ever there was a clarion call for people to put aside vaccine hesitancy. If we can get, you know, the overwhelming majority of the population vaccinated, we'd be in very good shape and could beat even the mutation."
"Taking measures to reduce transmission now can lessen the potential impact of B.1.1.7 and allow critical time to increase vaccination coverage," the CDC said.
So follow Fauci's fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.