By Marsha Mullings, MPH
28 million cases, 500,000 deaths
1.9 million cases, 77,758 total hospitalizations, 30,000 deaths
186,955 cases, 8,716 total hospitalizations, 2,340 deaths
Coronavirus Variants in Florida
The CDC has reported 1688 cases of mutant coronavirus across 44 states. B.1.1.7 (UK variant), B.1.351 (South African variant) and P.1 (Brazilian variant) are the most commonly circulating variants.
Florida has reported 434 confirmed cases of coronavirus variants, the highest number in the US, followed by Michigan with 210 cases
There are 433 UK variants here, and one Brazilian variant.
Both variants are more contagious than the original coronavirus.
Scientists report that the current vaccines (Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna) are less effective against the South African variant.
Florida’s large tourism industry and the services attendant to tourist activities most likely account for the high level of circulating coronavirus variants here. This could jeopardize vaccine efficacy and impede progress at reducing COVID-19 burden in our communities. It is too early to accurately predict the reduction in vaccine efficacy from circulating variants, but it is important to note that disease mitigation is critical to the task of moderating the evolution of mutant viral strains – a naturally occurring process. The key step that we can take is to practice good COVID-19 control strategies:
Observe social distancing guidelines (6 feet or more of separation from others)
Practice good hand hygiene (wash hands frequently with soap and warm water, or use hand sanitizers)
Wear a mask when out in public
Avoid crowded indoor locations where possible
For more information on coronavirus (COVID-19) prevention, visit www.FloridaHealth.org; coronavirus.jhu.edu; cdc.gov