BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Alabama continues to see a dip in the number of positive COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, but there is a growing threat to those numbers. Variant viruses are increasing.
The state of Alabama had seen eight cases of the variant viruses in the state. On Tuesday, the CDC reported that number has almost tripled up to 22 cases. The problem - this variant is more contagious that the original COVID-19 virus.
In Alabama, the 22 cases are spread across the state - mostly in Alabama’s largest counties, including Jefferson County. The CDC added a few more counties. This form of variant COVID-19 is still the U.K. version.
UAB has set up special testing to detect the U.K. variant of the virus. The Alabama Department of Health has sent out some of the surveillance tests it has obtained around the state to the CDC.
Dr. Karen Landers said health leaders are convinced there are more cases of the U.K. variant virus in Alabama than is being reported.
“I want to remind people while we are seeing these increases in variant cases it is not really surprising because of the transmissibility of this variant. We still have the power within our ability to stop the transmission by adhering to the mitigation standard,” Landers said
Landers means wear masks and social distance. The good news also is the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines work well against the UK variant. The problem - they work less effective against the South African and Brazilian variants. So far, they have not turned up in Alabama.