Dr. Fauci says U.K. strain more contagious, but not more deadly than original. Concerned about other strain in South Africa


PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — In an exclusive interview with WMBD-TV’s Matt Sheehan & Shelbey Roberts, Dr. Anthony Fauci spoke about the new strain of COVID-19 and what health experts are now concerned about.

“The people that have the most experience with this mutant are the people in the U.K. in England because that is the dominant strain there. They studied it extensively and tell us although it’s associated with a greater degree of transmissibility from person to person, on a person-by-person basis, but it does not appear to be more virulent which actually means it doesn’t make you sicker,” Dr. Fauci said. “We’re studying to see if that’s the case. We want to know as much about it as we possibly case. So far the Brits tell us it doesn’t seem to elude the protection of the vaccine, there are other mutants in South Africa that might be a little more concerning, but these are the kinds of things you take seriously and follow really closely, which is what we are doing.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci | Director | National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Dr. Fauci said the symptoms of this new strain, originating from the United Kingdom, do not seem to be different from the original strain we have been seeing in the U.S. for the last year.

“There doesn’t appear to be any difference in the type of disease people get from the particular virus, the disease manifestations, both the early presenting signs and symptoms as well as the advanced type of diseases. For those people who do develop the severe forms of COVID-19, as you know, that may be close to 40-45% of people don’t have symptoms, and those who do usually have mild symptoms,” Dr. Fauci said. “But there’s a group of individuals, about 20-25% of people who develop symptoms that goes on to be severe disease. But it doesn’t appear to be any different, at least what we hear from our British colleagues. This mutant is at such a low level in the U.S. thus far, and again we’re following it very carefully, that it’s impossible for us to make a comparison at this time.”

This is only part one of the interview with Dr. Fauci. He also talked to Sheehan & Roberts about when life will return to normal, how divisiveness has impacted the Pandemic, and what the WHO is looking for when investigating the origin of COVID-19 in China.

You can find the other parts of the segment below.

Part 2: Life returning to normal.

Part 3: Reopening the country, WHO investigation in China.

Part 4: Political divisiveness’ impact on the response to the virus. Dr. Fauci also spoke on how the pandemic has affected his personal life. He said he and his family have received death threats.

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