Genomics

How will WNY fare in the race between vaccines and coronavirus variants? | Local News


Doctors and researchers understand much more now than they did a year ago about virus spread and the damage it can inflict. Treatments have improved greatly. It is apparent who is most at risk, although people of all ages, races and socio-economic backgrounds have been hospitalized and died.






Dr. John Sellick

Public health leaders and infectious disease specialists including Dr. John Sellick Jr., a professor of medicine at the University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, encourage Western New Yorkers to practice Covid-prevention measures and refrain from travel until vaccination rates lower fears about the spread of new coronavirus variants.




The vaccination race will be critical to whether we need to resume the kinds of lockdowns that have taken place in recent months in Great Britain, Sellick said, “but again, it’s back to the basics: masks, use of physical distancing, avoiding crowds, good hand hygiene. The more we do that, the more we’re going to neutralize the effect of one of these more easily transmissible strains.”

Q: What if a relative or a friend is planning a trip south or west to enjoy warmer weather?

“I don’t want those people around me for even five minutes,” Sellick said, because travel in such uncertain times – especially to places with beaches, outdoor restaurants and other magnets for large gatherings – raises the risk of contracting the virus, or a variant, and endangering others.

Q: What states pose the greatest risk for contracting and spreading the virus?

The positive virus test rate in the region at the end of last week was about 3.5%. The rate in Florida was twice that, and it was more than three times higher in Texas and Georgia. The rate was at least five times higher in Iowa, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky and South Dakota, according to Becker’s Hospital Review.



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