Understanding the difference between the COVID-19 variants

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – With five known COVID-19 variants, it is hard to keep track of what we need to be concerned about.

Dr. Markalain Dery, who is based in New Orleans, specializes in infectious diseases, epidemiology, and myth-busting on his platform, “Noise Filter.”

He said all of the five known COVID-19 variants are of interest, but the Delta variant is a concern.

““That we’re aware of. It is the most infectious without question and will prey exclusively on the unvaccinated population. We’re seeing numbers upward of 80% of all strains in the U.S. right now that are the Delta strain,” he explained.

In past pandemics, it was common to see mutations. However, those mutations often led to weaker variants. The COVID-19 Delta variant is a totally different beast.

“We’re seeing clear increase in infectivity, but we’re starting to see shades of being more virulent,” said Dery.

Right now, it seems as though the available vaccines are working against all known variants.

To learn more about Noise Filter, please visit their website.

The known COVID-19 variants are listed below:

  • Delta (B.1.617.2). This variant is now the most common COVID-19 variant in the U.S. It potentially spreads more easily than other variants.
  • Alpha. (B.1.1.7). This COVID-19 variant appears to spread more easily, with about a 50% increase in transmission compared to previous circulating variants
  • Gamma (P.1). This variant reduces the effectiveness of some monoclonal antibody medications and the antibodies generated by a previous COVID-19 infection or a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Beta (B.1.351). This variant appears to spread more easily, with about a 50% increase in transmission compared to previous circulating variants.
  • The lambda variant (C.37), is an emerging version of the novel coronavirus that was first detected in Peru in August 2020. It has since spread rapidly in that country, where it now accounts for the vast majority of new cases.

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