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Butler expert says new COVID strain "not a cue to panic"

Posted at 9:04 PM, Dec 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-21 21:24:05-05

INDIANAPOLIS — A new strain of COVID-19 has effectively canceled the holidays in the United Kingdom after the country recently went into further lockdowns to try and limit the spread of the virus. Now other European countries are halting travel to and from the UK.

The move is all reactionary — at least the lockdown and closures — according to one Butler University expert. Ogbonnaya Omenka said with the ease of global movement it very well could be in other countries but is currently just unreported. Omenka said right now little is known about this new strain, but said reports detail it is some 70% more transmissible. With that information, he urges neighbors to continue practicing good health measures.

“It’s not a cue to panic or make any knee-jerk reactions, it’s actually just a common biological feature of the virus,” Omenka said.

The Assistant Professor and Diversity Initiatives Facilitator with the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences said it is a “wait and see” if this particular strain may be something to come to the United States, but again it should not be a cause for panic. As for COVID vaccines, Omenka said the new strain should still be covered.