DES MOINES, Iowa (KTIV) - Iowa public health officials have confirmed two cases of the India COVID-19 variant in the state.
This variant, also known as SARS-Cov-2 B.1.617, was detected in two adults in Jefferson County.
The Iowa Department of Public Health says the India variant is not designated as a "variant of concern." Meaning there is currently no evidence suggesting the variant has increased transmissibility or causes more severe disease.
"We share this information as a matter of public interest given the virus impact and newly issued travel restrictions to India," stated the IDPH in a press release.
The IDPH and local public health departments have initiated contact tracing for the two individuals who have the variant. Individuals who came into close contact with them are being advised to isolate in accordance with IDPH and CDC guidance.
“Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is the best way to prevent this, or any other currently circulating strain of the virus from spreading through the population. Since the vaccine is now open to all Iowans over the age of 16, we have the opportunity to use this tool to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our communities,” said Dr. Caitlin Pedati, IDPH State Medical Director and Epidemiologist.