Home Health News US officials eye new COVID-19 strain in UK, urge vigilance

US officials eye new COVID-19 strain in UK, urge vigilance

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is monitoring the new strain of COVID-19 rising in the United Kingdom, a number of U.S. officials stated on Sunday, including that it was unclear whether or not the mutated variant had made its option to America.

“We don’t know yet. We are, of course… looking very carefully into this,” U.S. COVID-19 vaccine program head Dr. Moncef Slaoui instructed CNN’s “State of the Union” program.

Slaoui, chief scientific adviser for the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed, added that the UK mutation was “very unlikely” to be proof against present vaccines, saying: “We can’t exclude it, but it’s not there now.”

Other health officials from the outgoing Trump administration and the incoming Biden administration additionally stated they had been watching the strain quickly spreading in Great Britain. The new UK variant seems 70% extra transmissible, forcing new lockdown measures in Britain and journey restrictions from its European neighbors.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s Surgeon General Jerome Adams stated whereas mutating viruses weren’t uncommon, any new COVID-19 strain means Americans should be extra vigilant about washing palms, carrying masks, protecting distance and avoiding crowds.

“Right now, we have no indication that it is going to hurt our ability to continue to vaccinate people or that it is any more dangerous or deadly than the strains that are currently out there that we know about it,” Adams instructed CBS News’ “Face the Nation” program.

Asked in regards to the potential affect on U.S.-UK journey, Assistant U.S. Health Secretary Admiral Brett Giroir instructed ABC News’ “This Week” program: “I don’t think there should be any reason for alarm right now. We continue to watch.”

“We don’t know that it’s more dangerous,” Giroir, a White House Coronavirus Task Force member, added. “Right now, it looks like the vaccine should cover everything that we see.”

(Reporting by Susan Heavey and Idrees Ali; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Lisa Shumaker)

© Copyright Thomson Reuters 2020

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