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New COVID-19 variants discovered raise concerns in Brazos Valley

Posted at 9:36 AM, Jul 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-22 10:36:21-04

BRAZOS VALLEY, TX — There's some concern about a new mutation of COVID-19 that has now made its way to Texas. With guidelines much more relaxed, do residents in the Brazos valley have something to worry about? Here is what health experts have to say.

The Houston Methodist Hospital System found its first case of the Lambda variant. Experts here in the Brazos Valley have a few concerns but for the most part, they're confident in vaccinations.

The first Lambda variant was originally found in December of 2020 in South America, but now it has found its way to the Lone Star State.

“Like any other variant we are concerned about this entering into Brazos County,” said Mary Parrish, administrative assistant and emergency preparedness for the Brazos County Health District.

According to experts, the mutation of viruses is common, but the only concern in this case is how much more transmissible each variant is.

“Viruses are good about mutating over time that’s why we see variants of the coronavirus,” Parrish explained.

With restrictions loosening, health experts can only help vaccinate the community. It’s said those who are vaccinated may not see severe symptoms compared to others.

“The biggest thing we’re doing to mitigate of the possibility of the Lambda infection is vaccination," added Parrish. "Not only through the BVMAT team but through our vaccination clinics on site,”

According to the CDC, other variants such as Beta, Gamma, and Delta have been detected in the United States.

“So far in Brazos County, we have not had a confirmed delta case yet," Parrish warns residents. "However that does not mean that it is not here.”

Although vaccination efforts are still strongly offered. According to Dr. Jason McKnight, in the last few weeks he has witnessed an increase in cases with severe symptoms.

“The patients coming into the hospital currently with COVID have been a lot sicker than some of the ones have been previously so that does concern me,” said Dr. Jason McKnight, primary care physician and population health expert with Texas A&M.

The Brazos county health district is providing all three vaccines on-site Monday through Friday.