By NewsDesk @bactiman63

Recently, the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment of Antigua and Barbuda reported the first case of the COVID-19 gamma variant.

Image by Miroslava Chrienova from Pixabay

Confirmation was performed by the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and establishes that all
four (4) variants of concern have now been identified in the twin island state.

The Gamma variant of concern, first identified in Brazil in November 2020, was found in three (3) of a group of eight (8) samples taken in Antigua and Barbuda between 18 and 22 July 2021 which were sent to CARPHA for genomic sequencing.  The Delta variant was identified in the other five (5) samples.

The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment first became aware of the presence of the Delta variant in Antigua and Barbuda after it was found in one (1) of seven (7) samples taken between May 5 and July 2, 2021 which were sent to CARPHA for genomic sequencing.

The Gamma variant, like the Delta variant is deemed to be more transmissible causing more severe disease which results in increased hospitalization and death.

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This development clearly speaks to the importance of being vaccinated and adhering to the public health measures that have been established, health officials note. Vaccination, physical distancing, social distancing, wearing of the masks correctly and proper hygiene and cough etiquette continue to be the most effective measures in the prevention and control of Covid-19.

Image/WHO screenshot