COVID-19’s New Strain

Written by: Hollie Kien

With the world on shut down, it’s hard to picture a world without the COVID-19 pandemic, and  adjusting to the new normal has been challenging for many. With the new COVID-19 vaccine recently being released, many are starting to feel a little more relaxed about returning to their everyday lives. This is exciting news! Cities are slowly beginning to reopen, although there is a slight bump in the road ahead. There is a new COVID-19 strain that has been reported here in Michigan, and there are currently 17 reported cases of this new variant of COVID-19.  This new strain is thought to be a little more contagious than the original COVID-19 variant, but we still do not have a lot of information that is accessible to the general public. The only way to tell if you are positive for this new strain of COVID-19 is by getting a genome sequencing test on top of your original COVID-19 test. A genomic sequencing test aims to identify variants in any of the large number of genes in your genome, which could have an affect on your health.

The standard COVID-19 test will come up positive no matter what strain you have. With a standard COVID 19 test it is not able to detect the specific variant of COVID-19. This new strand of COVID-19 is reportedly considered the UK variant of the illness, and there is currently research being conducted to find out more information on the condition of this new strand. Not everyone is able to get the genome sequencing test sent off, only those who fit a certain criteria and have worsening, as well as additional symptoms. This is all up to the Doctor’s discretion, in deciding if someone is able to get a genome sequencing test conducted. According to medical professionals, the vaccine will work for both variants of COVID-19, which should hopefully put minds at ease! The numbers are not climbing for this new strain, as the numbers did for the original COVID-19 strain. As we wait for more information about this new COVID-19 strain to be released to the public we can do our part in fighting back at this virus. Stay hopeful for the upcoming months and take precautionary steps as places begin to reopen again!