Covid-19 Indian Variant Detected In NW La.

May 25, 2021

Credit Courtesy: Chuck Smith / Red River Radio News

COVID CASES IN NW LA-  According to the latest data from the Louisiana Department of Health – there’s been an increase in the number of Covid-19 cases in eight of ten Northwest Louisiana parishes over the past two weeks dating to Sunday May 23rd.  The most populated parishes – Caddo and Bossier showed Covid case increases of 12% and 35% respectively.  The only northwest Louisiana parish to show a decrease in COVID-19 cases for the 14-day period was DeSoto Parish with a 4% drop. 

The increase in COVID-19 cases in the area comes just days after LSU Health Shreveport's Center for Emerging Viral Threats identified two specimens that were B.1.617.2  variants in the area, often referred as the “The Indian Variant” and is believed to be more transmissible than earlier variants.

" . . . the one thing that is important to understand is it appears the vaccines work well against this (B.1.617.2) variant." Dr. Chris Kevil, LSUHS Vice Chancellor for Research

Dr. Chris Kevil, Vice Chancellor of Research at LSU-Health Shreveport told reporters from The Times more about the findings.

Dr. Chris Kevil , Vice Chancellor for Research LSU Health Shreveport
Credit Courtesy: LSUHS

"There are some reports out there that suggest that this strain of the SAR CoV-2 virus has the capability to spread more swiftly, if you will, than the B.1.1.7 variant," Kevil explained. "However, the one thing that is important to understand is it appears the vaccines work well agains this variant."

Health experts are optimistic about current vaccines ability to fight the newer variants.  It’s estimated that 35% of Louisiana residents have received at least one Covid 19 vaccine.