Michigan doctor concerned about virus variant

Coronavirus
Michigan Chief Medical Executive Doctor Joneigh Khaldun at a coronavirus briefing on Jan. 22, 2021. (Courtesy of the Michigan Executive Office of the Governor)

Michigan Chief Medical Executive Doctor Joneigh Khaldun at a coronavirus briefing on Jan. 22, 2021. (Courtesy of the Michigan Executive Office of the Governor)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Concerns over vaccinations continue as experts learn more about the new variant of the virus first discovered in the United Kingdom.

Britain’s prime minister said in a news conference Friday that there is evidence the variant could be linked to a higher death rate in cases.

Michigan Chief Medical Executive Doctor Joneigh Khaldun addressed the variant during a morning press conference Friday.

Khaldun started off by saying how pleased she is with the state’s progress, saying many people are doing the right thing and the numbers prove that.

She says the variant known as B.1.1.7. is in our state and is known to have caused at least one outbreak. She says there are possible other cases not associated with that outbreak.

She explained that it’s more easily transmitted from person to person. She said it becomes more common — like scientists believe it will — would result in more cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

“We will likely see more and more cases of this, and it will be harder to control the spread of it. And we don’t want to go back to where we were last April or where we were in the beginning of November when our hospitals were overwhelmed and hundreds of people were dying every day,” Khaldun said.

The good news is that testing does detect this variant and the vaccines that are out there protect against it.

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