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Dr. Fauci: New COVID-19 variant should be taken seriously

Believes latest strain of coronavirus might already be in America

WASHINGTON, D.C. (KYMA, KECY/CNN) - The United States, along with many European nations, have responded to the discovery of a new COVID-19 variant by banning flights from southern Africa.

As of Saturday, at least two cases of the latest COVID-19 variant have been confirmed in the United Kingdom.

"As always with a new variant, there are many things that we just cannot know at this early stage, but our scientists are learning more hour by hour," shared British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

According to international travelers' testimonies, the omicron variant has surfaced all over the world. This leads health officials to believe there's a good chance it has already spread to the U.S.

However, this seems to contrast what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found. The CDC reports zero confirmed cases of the omicron variant in the U.S.

“It’s likely something that is here at a low level. Delta still continues to be the predominant variant, but I would not be surprised at all to see that omicron is already here and possibly spreading in small clusters,” said Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Amesh Adalja.

American health officials reveal that it may take a few weeks before scientists can determine how much of a threat the omicron variant could pose to Americans.

“You assume something that might be worse than it is but better that than underestimating," expressed National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci. "So you don’t want people to panic but you want to know that we’re doing everything we can to stay ahead of this.”

Health experts are once again recommending that vaccinations and booster shots are the best way to fight the virus.

"It is not something that can be contained," Dr. Adalja added. "The goal is just to tame it, make it more like other respiratory viruses, but we are always going to have covid around, hopefully in a much less threatening manner as we get more people immunized.”

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Caleb J. Fernández

Upon earning his bachelor’s degree from The Pennsylvania State University in Advertising/Public Relations, Caleb went straight to New York City where he learned the necessities of production assistance, photography and art direction. Please reach out via email at caleb.fernandez@kecytv.com if you’re interested in collaborating.

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Arlette Yousif

Arlette Yousif joined KYMA in November 2020 as a Multi Media Journalist. She holds a BA in Journalism with a minor in Film.

You can reach out to Arlette for at arlette.yousif@kecytv.com.

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