After almost a full year of battling the Coronavirus Pandemic with masks, lockdowns and social distancing, a new headline is making news: The virus that causes COVID-19 has changed, making it more contagious.
Health experts report that at least one new “super strain” of the virus is already in the U.S. and another highly contagious strain from South Africa could be on its way. One of the new super strains, known as the “U.K. variant,” has been detected in six U.S. states, according to the CDC: Colorado, California, Georgia, New York, Florida and Pennsylvania.
It is not known whether the mutations will affect how well the approved vaccines work but pharmaceutical companies are running tests now to make sure. Experts believe that because vaccines generate an immune response that acts against the virus, the vaccines will probably still work.
Are there new or additional symptoms related to the new strains? Some patients who have been infected with the new strain of COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms that range from mild to severe. Symptoms can appear anywhere from two to 14 days after exposure and include:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- Loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
More severe symptoms, such as trouble breathing, chest pain or pressure or difficulty staying awake are signs of serious illness and require immediate medical care.
The Center for Disease Control continues to stress the importance of wearing a mask, practicing physical distancing and washing our hands. These measures will likely protect against all variants.
Physicians Group Management (PGM) is one of the fastest-growing medical billing companies in the United States. For over 35 years, PGM has been providing medical billing and practice management services and software to physicians, healthcare facilities, and laboratories. PGM’s current client base encompasses the full spectrum of medical specialties, including Internal Medicine, Dermatology, Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, Pathology, EMS & Ambulatory Services, Cardiology, Nephrology, Urology, Pain Management, OB/GYN, Gastroenterology, Independent Laboratory, and many more. PGM’s medical billing and practice management solutions include:
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