CDC Chief Warns of "Threat of Great Concern"
While the COVID-19 vaccine is here and currently being administered across the country, the pandemic is far from over. In fact, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is very concerned about a specific lingering "threat" that could result in even more spread of the virus. Read on to find out what it is—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
"Keep Your Guard Up" Against COVID and the Mutants, Says Dr. Walensky
During Monday's White House COVID-19 Response Team Briefing, Dr. Walensksy urged Americans: "keep your guard up," as more and more variants are being detected across the country. "The continued proliferation of variants remains of great concern and is a threat that could reverse the recent positive trends we are seeing," she explained, confirming that as of February 7th, 699 variant cases have been confirmed across 34 States, "with 690 of these cases being the B117 variant, the variant first reported in the UK."
Expect More Variants in the Near Future, Says Dr. Walensky
She also mentioned that it is very likely that more cases of variant infection will be identified in the future. "We're learning more about the number of variants and the number of variants that you're hearing increases very much, at least in part due to the fact that we're doing a lot more sequencing of these variants," she explained. "Over the last three weeks or so, we've increased our sequencing about 10 fold. So as we look more, we're certainly going to anticipate, we might find more."
She added that the CDC is attempting to collaborate with state labs from every state as well as commercial and academic labs. "So we anticipate that we're probably going to be sequencing up to three or four more than we're already sequencing. And I think once we have more sequencing that's happening, we'll have a better idea as to how many variants there are and what proportion are out there."
Dr. Walensky Urges All Americans to Do Their Part
"Please continue to wear a mask and stay six feet apart from people you don't live with, avoid travels, crowds, and poorly ventilated spaces, and get vaccinated when it's available to you," she continued. "I recognize that the pandemic has taken an enormous toll on all of us, but if we all work together and take these prevention steps, we can finally turn the tide." So follow the 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.