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Nevada lab looking for UK variant in patients

Published: Jan. 8, 2021 at 4:05 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - By now most of us have seen pictures of the coronavirus, the organism responsible for the COVID pandemic.

While science has solved many mysteries concerning this virus. There is one universal fact they already know.

“All living things actually make mistakes when they are copied,” says Dr. Mark Pandori, Nevada State Health Lab Director, “Or when they reproduce. We call them mistakes, but it is a mutation, actually,” he says.

That mutation has already occurred. Reported first in Great Britain, it has now been reported in Colorado, California, Pennsylvania, Florida, and New York.

Dr. Pandori says it is only a matter of time before he finds it in Nevada.

He says his lab has already analyzed more than 400 coronavirus positive samples and new samples continue to be examined. While this variant does not render the new vaccine ineffective, he says the bigger concern is what happens to infection rates and hospitalizations once the more infective form of the virus makes its way through the community.

“By spreading more you are rolling the dice more often so to speak,” says Dr. Pandori. “And by rolling the dice more often you have more opportunity to get a bad di role you know? So that is the main concern,” he says.

The new virus is not more deadly than its former form. However, Dr. Pandori says we may not be so lucky when the virus mutates again.

That’s why he advocates in wearing masks as such a practice slows that mutation process down and allows communities to better respond to the virus at hand.

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