Warrick County, Ind. (WEHT) – Healthcare professionals are asking that people don’t let their guards down especially in light of existing Covid variants –such as the U.K. & South African variant. Both are now in the U.S.

Deaconess officials confirmed their first case of the U.K. variant in mid-January.

The CDC says more research is needed to determine whether or not they are, in fact, more deadly, but the spread is concerning.

“Most variants are not as deadly or severe as the current viral strain. But they can sometimes be more contagious and have different presentations,” said Dr. David Schultz.

In Governor Holcomb’s Wednesday Covid briefing, Dr. Kristina Box said, “The virus continues to mutate, which creates more unknowns. Indiana now has 16 cases that are of the U.K. variant strain. While the Pfizer and Moderna have good effectiveness. Our best hope is to get as many vaccinated which can take many months.”

“The vaccines do have promise in the immunity that it will impose. In other words those who have had the vaccine will have some immunity against some of these variants,” Dr. Schultz said.

“Even though our metrics have improved significantly, now is not the time to abandon the protections we have put in place,” Dr. Kristina Box said.

(This story was originally published February 25, 2021)