Baton Rouge hospital explains possible impacts of U.K variant of COVID-19

Local News

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD)- Dr. Catherine O’Neal with Our Lady of the Lake is calling on Baton Rouge residents to prepare for the B.1.1.7 also known as the U.K variant of COVID-19.

According to the Louisiana Department of Health, five cases of the U.K variant have been found.

The U.K variant of the virus is forty to eighty percent more transferable, according to Dr. O’Neal. If the variant reaches the capitol city she predict more restrictions on socializing.

“The biggest concern to me as a public health perspective is if I’m having what I believe to be is a safe or small social gathering or if I am having something that is living on the edge. What we saw with our previous variant is that you may or may not, depending on if you have it outside, how many people you invite for that safe activity, this variant is very difficult to have a safe gathering,” Dr. O’Neal said.

According to Dr.O’Neal, the variant decreases the effectiveness of the coronavirus vaccine.

“The vaccines will work higher than 60 percent. Higher than 60 percent is a really good vaccine,” she said.

While Dr. O’Neal predicts the variant to reach Baton Rouge, she is urging residents to continue following COVID-19 mitigations.

“We need to spend the next couple of months making sure we are on our game,” she said. “We need to keep our mask on, we need to continue to distance.”

The Center for Disease Control are reporting the following on the U.K variants:

  • Spread more easily from person-to-person
  • Cause milder or more severe disease in people
  • Are detected by currently available viral tests
  • Respond to medicines currently being used to treat people for COVID-19

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