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This is how South Dakota tests for the Delta Variant

COVID-19 Delta Variant
COVID-19 Delta Variant
Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 4:57 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Health officials say that the Delta Variant of COVID-19 is nearly twice as infectious as the original strain.

However, the core of the virus in every strain that has popped up thus far is the same. Meaning an additional test must be run on a positive result if they want to test for variants.

A certain proportion of positive specimens are selected to go undergo the additional test that checks for the variant, but not every site has the capacity to perform variant testing.

South Dakota testing centers send samples to places like the Public Health Lab in Pierre, some commercial labs or the CDC to identify if it is a Delta Variant case.

Even though not every positive case undergoes testing to see whether or not it’s the Delta Variant, health officials say that indications suggest that the delta variant is currently the dominant strain.

Dr. Joshua Clayton, South Dakota’s State Epidemiologist, says, ”Because we are not able to test all of the specimens that are positive in the state of South Dakota that when we do detect a Delta Variant case, it should be recognized as just an indicator of wider transmission of the Delta Variant within the community.”

Every time the virus infects a new person, there is a chance for the virus to mutate and potentially become a variant.

As variants tend to spread more quickly, it’s increasing the chance to breed more variants.

If a unique enough mutation is born, Dr. Clayton says the current vaccines antibodies may not recognize the virus and fend it off, rendering the vaccine ineffective.

He says that getting the vaccine is a guaranteed means of protecting yourself, and that you won’t have to worry about leaving a vaccine at home... like you could a mask.

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