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6 cases of COVID-19 variant that's ravaged India identified in Oregon

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The Oregon State Digest
The Oregon State Digest
 2021-05-28

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(SALEM, Ore.) According to the Oregon Health Authority, the COVID-19 variant that’s devastated India in the last few months has been identified in Oregon.

There have been six cases of the B.1.617.2 variant detected in Oregon, OHA told KATU. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention classifies the variant as a variant of interest.

Although the variant is considered more contagious, health experts say the vaccines are effective against it.

“I’m not terribly concerned about any of these, mostly because the vaccines seem to be working really quite well,” Dr. Ken Stedman, a biology professor at Portland State University, said. “The concern is that this variant, like also the B.1.17, seems to spread more rapidly among unvaccinated people.”

OHA Director Pat Allen spoke with lawmakers Wednesday and said there is no one variant that is more likely to cause breakthrough cases. Breakthrough cases are when someone who is fully vaccinated contracts COVID-19.

“There is no evidence at the national level that any particular variant is more likely for breakthroughs, and there’s no evidence to suggest that these cases are resulting in additional spread,” Allen said.

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