Another coronavirus variant has reached Florida. Here's what you need to know.
A coronavirus variant discovered in Colombia is showing up among patients in South Florida, increasing infections and putting health officials on alert as calls grow louder for unvaccinated individuals to get inoculated. Carlos Migoya, CEO of Jackson Health System, told WPLG in Miami earlier this week that the B.1.621 variant has accounted for about 10% of coronavirus patients, trailing behind delta, the now dominant variant in the United States that's been ravaging the nation's unvaccinated, a
Migoya told the news station that he speculated B.1.621 is likely rising in South Florida because of international travel between Colombia and Miami, which serves as a gateway to Latin America.
A person who replied to an email sent from The Washington Post to Migoya's office said he was unavailable to comment.
Health experts will keep B.1.621 on their radar as the fall season looms and as parts of the country still lag in their vaccination efforts, experts told The Post.
The earliest documented samples of B.1.621 were noted in January, and at least 16 cases have been recently reported in the United Kingdom, where health officials have noted that the majority of cases linked to the variant were the result of international travel.
Public Health England noted last week that there is currently no evidence to indicate that the variant causes more severe disease or evades the efficacy of vaccines. Yet, the agency has designated the variant to be under investigation as it continues to conduct lab testing to better understand the impact mutations have on the coronavirus.
The European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention has also chosen to assign the variant as one of interest, as evidence could suggest significant impact, but also noting that much of the data is preliminary and marked with many questions.