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‘Living in the shadow of a COVID-19 volcano’: King County health worker warns of more contagious strain



Dr. Jeff Duchin, Head of Public Health – Seattle & King County, compared a new strain of coronavirus to one of Washington’s biggest natural disasters.

A King County health official said “we live in the shadow of a COVID-19 volcano” as Washington state prepares for a more contagious variant to become widespread.

Dr. Jeff Duchin, Head of Public Health – Seattle & King County, compared a new strain of coronavirus to one of Washington’s biggest natural disasters.

“We have to expect the coronavirus equivalent of a Mount St. Helene-like outbreaks at some point in the next few months, ”Duchin said.

It has now been a year since the first US case of COVID-1

9 was confirmed in the state of Washington.

RELATED: Snohomish County Nurse Who Treated 1st Confirmed U.S. Case of COVID-19 Reflects on Last Year

During his weekly media briefing on Friday, Duchin said a more contagious strain of coronavirus poses an even greater concern.

“This virus has worked, it has become faster and more fit,” Duchin said.

He warns that a new variant of the virus strain is likely to become widespread, making it harder to control.

Duchin said, because of the variant, it is even more important to wear masks, social distance and take precautions.

“I would actually be somewhat surprised if it is not already here,” said Dr. Wes Van Voorhis, Professor of Infectious Diseases at UW.

Van Voorhis said the variant strain in the UK relates because it is easier to spread from person to person.

“The good news is that if you are infected, you are not more likely to end up sicker in an ICU or something similar than the other strains,” Van Voorhis said.

On Friday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson made headlines after saying there is early evidence that the British variant may be more deadly, but experts say it is still largely uncertain.

RELATED: CDC-affected British coronavirus variant may be dominant in the US in March

Van Voorhis said evidence that current vaccines are effective with the British variant. It is the variant strain found in South Africa that worries health experts.

“It is also thought to be much more contagious, but it is also thought to circumvent the immunity people have from catching the virus before, and possibly also to our vaccine,” Van Voorhis said.


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