New strain of COVID-19 may be in PR

By John McPhaul

Island Health Secretary Carlos Mellado López said this Monday in a radio interview that the new strain of COVID-19, which is more easily transmitted and was detected for the first time in the United Kingdom, may be present in Puerto Rico.

“It can be here. Just like any viruses, they can mutate anywhere else,” Mellado López said. “There may be either that mutation or any other mutation.”

“Scientists have been talking about what would happen, depending on what is happening with this variant, is that the virus has a faster penetration into the cells,” the Health secretary said. “And this could be faster symptoms. There is still no talk that it could be more aggressive [or more lethal], we have not seen that. But it is certainly worrisome.”

“The problem with this virus is the body’s immune response,” he added. “In some patients the response is extremely aggressive.

“The good news is that scientists who have already seen these variations believe that the vaccine we have now works with this mutation.”

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