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Regional News

Washington Bucks The National Covid Variant Trend

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TVW screenshot
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Washington health officials say the state is bucking the trend when it comes to which of the Covid variants is more prevalent here.

This week, Dr. Anthony Fauci from the National Institutes of Health called the so-called Delta variant, which originated in India, as the greatest Covid threat in the U.S.

But in Washington state, acting state health officer Scott Lindquist says Delta is losing what he calls a “gladiator” war among variants.

“Everyone was very concerned about the U.K. variant, the B.1.1.7 variant or what we call now the Alpha variant, taking over and having an explosion of cases here in Washington state and this really driving the epidemiology. That just has not been the case," Lindquist said. 

"What we are seeing now is this Alpha variant is slowly being outcompeted by two main variants. One of them is indeed the Delta variant, but more important and twice as many variants is the Gamma variant. That’s the P.1 variant, what we call the Brazil variant originally," he said.

Lindquist says the Alpha, or U.K., variant is found in about 40% of the people who tested positive for Covid. He says that number is decreasing, while the Gamma variant from Brazil is becoming more prevalent. He says a quarter of the positive tests now are for that virus.