The virus that causes COVID-19 is spinning off new versions of itself, prompting news headlines across the world.
Scientists and public health officials are particularly concerned about three versions of the virus – known as variants – that were initially discovered in the United Kingdom, Brazil and South Africa and are already circulating in the U.S. The first U.S. case of one of them – the South African variant – was identified in South Carolina in late January.
All three variants are thought to be highly transmissible.
“Now more than ever, we need to follow established preventive measures such as wearing masks in public, regularly washing our hands and social distancing,” says Dr. Gerald Harmon, vice president of medical affairs at Tidelands Health. “We can’t let our guard down, especially with these highly transmissible forms of the virus spreading.”