INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WLFI)- According to State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box, there have been 4 cases of the new variant of COVID-19 in the state of Indiana. Along with that, there have been 122 total cases of the B-117 variant in the United States. Dr. Box says that the CDC is doing routine surveillance to keep track of how the new variant is spreading. That surveillance is made up of the CDC taking random samples of COVID-19 tests from the state. Recently they have doubled the number of samples they were originally taking. However, Dr. Box says that this particular variant has a change that they are able to pick up in some of their testings that they do to see if someone is positive for COVID-19.
“When we see that particular change in those tests on these two particular machines that will indicate to us that it has a higher likely hood of being this mutation or a different mutation,” said Dr. Box. “So, we selectively send those off to the CDC.”
There are currently a few sites in the state of Indiana that are doing this testing. This specific testing is currently selective. The individual's travel history is looked at as well as the exposure to the B-117 strain.
Dr. Box went on to say that there has been a third strain of the coronavirus detected in South Africa. She says it acts much like the UK variant that is in Indiana, in that it is much more contagious. However, the South African variant has yet to be detected in the United States.
There was good news that came out of Governor Holcomb’s weekly press briefing. Both Indiana hospitalization rate and positivity rate is down. Dr. Box provided an update on the B-117 variant because she doesn’t want Hoosier to get complacent.