What we know about the 3 cases of COVID-19 UK variant in Michigan

Posted at 4:31 PM, Jan 22, 2021

(WXYZ) — Two more cases of the UK virus variant have been confirmed in Michigan. This raises the total to three – and all of them are women.

The two new cases were confirmed by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Both of these women happen to be close contacts of the first patient confirmed to have the UK variant. That woman was from Washtenaw County,and she tested positive after she returned from a trip to Britain. Now, 5 other people may also have the UK variant.

We’re still waiting on the results of genetic sequencing. So far, everyone is doing fine, with either no symptoms or mild symptoms. Now, the three confirmed cases are associated with the University of Michigan. And testing has been offered to the University of Michigan community, which is great news. I am hopeful that this will get contained, and that’s because most of the seven people who caught the virus from the initial Washtenaw County patient live in connected households. And they also are all in quarantine.

There are new studies that raise concern about the vaccines being effective against the variants. Two particular studies were done in the lab and looked at the variant in South Africa. The one study was small and included only 6 people who had COVID-19 and survived. Researchers took their antibodies and found that they didn’t do so well fighting off this virus variant. But because it’s in a lab setting, it doesn’t really tell us for certain that a person who already fought off the coronavirus would have a harder time fighting off a new variant. Unfortunately, a second study also found similar results. Having said that, there’s also a third study. And this one looked at whether or not the new variant could evade some of the immunity induced by vaccination. And the researchers found that it could. However, it did not escape 100%. So this does provide some evidence that people who are vaccinated have some protection against the new variants. However, we do need more research to really know if the new variants are a real concern or not.

Get vaccinated when you can. I got the vaccine and can tell you that yes, I had some side effects - fatigue and fever - but it’s short-lived. Getting vaccinated will slow down the spread and it can help stop the virus from mutating. It’s important to double down on pandemic precautions. Since the virus is said to be 50% more transmissible, you might want to double up your mask. Wear two instead of one. And make sure it’s a high-quality mask with two or three layers and not a flimsy piece of fabric. Also, please avoid taking risks. Don’t let your guard down just because you are good friends with someone. Continue to social distance from those not in your household. And keep washing your hands and wipe down frequently touched surfaces.

Join Dr. Nandi this Sunday as he discusses the drastic shortage of homes for foster children. Experts speak out about the impact of the opioid crisis along with the challenges and trauma both children and foster parents face. One guest shares how her child-molesting step-father led to a string of foster homes, with one particular foster parent exploiting her as a round-the-clock live-in babysitter. Another former foster child shares her heartfelt journey due to her mom’s emotional state, and how a loving foster parent can positively impact the outcome of one’s life. Tune in on Sunday, January 24th at 5 pm.