AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Two COVID-19 variants have been detected in samples from Northwest Texas Hospital, that according to Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brian Weis on Wednesday.
“We have sent 72 positive samples for analysis to look for variants, and out of those 72, we have had two variants detected. So, as Dr. Milton said, they’re here. Thankfully, they remain at very low levels, but they are here,” Dr. Weis said during the City of Amarillo’s COVID-19 briefing.
Dr. Weis said he thinks those two variants are related to California variants.
“It was neither the U.K. nor South African [variants], which are the ones we’re kind of watching out for,” Dr. Weis Continued.
BSA Hospital‘s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Michael Lamanteer, said they have not yet confirmed any variant disease but there are still a couple of cases pending.
“We have had a couple of cases where we have had some folks that were readmitted that had been previously infected, or vaccinated and were showing evidence of what looked like reinfection based on our testing and their presentation,” Dr. Lamanteer said. “So, that’s a perfect candidate, that is to say, ‘Is this a variant or not?’ Those were sent out to the state laboratories that do that type of testing.”
He continued, “I’m certain that we have additional patients with variants here. The question is if people were vaccinated, is it even translating to clinical disease or not if they were infected? And for those who are not, I think is the most concerning population of patients.”
Dr. Lamanteer said they are concerned people who are not vaccinated will contract a variant of COVID-19, translating to a more severe illness. He said that is why people must get vaccinated.
“I can’t stress that enough. You really need to use good rationale when you’re deciding about getting your vaccination or not, and make your decision based in science and good judgment and try to avoid some of the other things that are affecting that decision,” Dr. Lamanteer added. “Please get vaccinated.”
When coronavirus variants are suspected, those samples are sent to a state lab for testing as required.
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