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UPMC Health officials researching the new COVID-19 variant

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UPMC Health officials are researching the new COVID-19 variant.

This variant spreads more easily and quickly from person to person. The first confirmed case of the new strain detected in Pennsylvania was found in Dauphin County.

Those exposed may have milder symptoms of COVID-19 like a runny nose, headache, cough or chills.

UPMC Health officials say the research of this strain is incredibly complex.

“There are efforts within the UPMC Pittsburgh Hospital to review the variant, however we haven’t found that strain yet in any of our patients,” said Emily Shears, epidemiologist, UPMC Hamot.

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Myanmar health workers receive first COVID-19 vaccinations

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YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Health workers in Myanmar are receiving the first COVID-19 vaccinations in the Southeast Asian country, five days after the first vaccines were delivered from India. Myanmar’s leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, announced last week that front-line health workers would get priority for inoculations. India has donated 1.5 million doses to Myanmar, enough to inoculate 750,000 people. Suu Kyi observed vaccinations at a hospital and said the inoculation campaign must proceed carefully because the government does not have all the supplies it needs. The 75-year-old leader is to be vaccinated on Thursday.

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Health leaders react to COVID variant in Kentucky

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) – Governor Andy Beshear confirmed there have been two reported cases of a new COVID strain in Kentucky.

But scientists are already adjusting vaccines to protect against any new strains.

The commonwealth is facing a new foe– a COVID strain from across the pond. It’s known as B.1.1.7, prevalent in the United Kingdom, and has officially made its way to Kentucky. But it hasn’t caught healthcare workers by surprise.

“The good news is actually Moderna has already tested the UK strain and found that they are effective against that strain. The only one they haven’t found any diminished response is actually the South African strain,” Emergency Physician Dr. Ryan Stanton said.

Dr. Stanton says even though the strains have slight differences, for the most part, the vaccines are protecting against them.

“I think what we can expect later in 2021, or 2022, is just a little tweak or addition that helps cover that South Africa strain and any others that may pop up between now and then,” Dr. Stanton said.

Dr. Stanton says the approach to treating people with the different strains hasn’t changed, either.

“At this point, COVID is COVID. We can recognize it looks pretty much the same and we’ve gotten good at identifying it based on the symptoms,” he said.

While we will face new strains in the future, Dr. Stanton says the one thing that will help a return to normalcy is the vaccine.

“We have been vaccinating hundreds of people an hour,” said Lance Poston, co-director of UK Health Corps.

Poston, encourages anyone to sign up now, so you’ll be ready for the vaccination when it’s your turn.

“Helping us keep the Commonwealth healthy and get those important vaccines out there,” Poston said.

The UK vaccine clinic follows CDC guidelines for distributing the vaccine. They say their system picks out people for an appointment based on your information, like your job, age and pre-existing health conditions.

Copyright 2021 WKYT. All rights reserved.

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With Few Details From Health Officials, Volunteers Create COVID-19 Vaccine Database – NPR

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