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'Remain diligent': Connecticut doctor warns South African variant of COVID-19 appears to be more contagious

After Gov. Ned Lamont announced that a person from Fairfield County tested positive for the South African variant of COVID-19, a local doctor says it's important as ever to remain compliant with safety precautions.

News 12 Staff

Feb 16, 2021, 11:21 PM

Updated 1,218 days ago

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After Gov. Ned Lamont announced that a person from Fairfield County tested positive for the South African variant of COVID-19, a local doctor says it's important as ever to remain compliant with safety precautions.
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Dr. Dan Gottschall is vice president of medical affairs at Hartford HealthCare's St. Vincent's Medical Center in Bridgeport. He says research has found that the new South African variant is more contagious.
"It seems to be a little more capable of getting into our cells," Dr. Gottschall says. "So if the virus is more capable of getting into our cells, then it's more likely for us to catch it and to get sick."
The doctor says while the variant hasn’t been found to make people sicker, it still needs to be taken seriously.
"People need to remain diligent about this virus," he says. "They need to continue to wash their hands, wear their masks, social distance."
Dr. Gottschall says if a patient is COVID-19 positive, whether they have the variant or not, the treatment is still the same. He also says more information about the variants is still coming out.
Gov. Lamont also announced today that the Fairfield County patient with this variant is improving.


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