Health officials tracking new COVID-19 variant in Wisconsin

MADISON, Wis. — The Wisconsin Department of Health Services is tracking a new variant of COVID-19 with more than two dozen cases in the state.

The Delta strain has been elevated to a “variant of concern” in Wisconsin. The strain is fueling the coronavirus surge in the United Kingdom and, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is more contagious and more resistant to vaccines.

DHA said the vaccines currently available in the US have been shown to provide some protection against the Delta strain, the State Journal reported.

“We urge Wisconsinites to protect themselves, their families, and their communities by getting vaccinated,” said DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake. “The sooner people get vaccinated against COVID-19, the less opportunity for the virus to keep mutating.”

A mock vial of the Pfizer vaccine for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is shown during a staff vaccine training session at UW Health in Madison, Wisconsin, U.S., December 8, 2020.
A mock vial of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine is shown during a staff vaccine training session at UW Health in Madison, Wisconsin, on December 8, 2020.
via REUTERS

Since April, 26 cases of the Delta variant have been identified in Wisconsin. Timberlake said an increasing proportion of COVID-19 cases in the state are variants of concern.

Health officials said the state will begin reporting case counts of the Delta strain beginning Thursday. The department is also tracking five other variants of concern in the state.

Myrna Warrington, 72, receives the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination from nurse Stephanie Ciancio at Menominee Indian High School in Menominee county, Wisconsin, U.S., January 28, 2021.
Myrna Warrington, 72, receives a coronavirus vaccination from nurse Stephanie Ciancio at Menominee Indian High School in Menominee County, Wisconsin, on January 28, 2021.
REUTERS

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