Nebraska might have its own coronavirus variant – here’s why

"Every state is going to have its own variant sooner or later because the virus mutates," he said. "We're all going to have a local variant probably." 
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Nebraska might soon have it’s own coronavirus variant, state officials said Friday.

Dr. Gary Anthone, the state’s Chief Medical Officer, said that’s simply the way viruses work.

“Every state is going to have its own variant sooner or later because the virus mutates,” he said. “We’re all going to have a local variant probably.”

Coronavirus variants have been heralded by health officials as the next big concern in the COVID-19 pandemic, but Dr. Anthone says continued precautions and increased access to vaccines should help mitigate the potential damage.

Nebraska’s state health lab is currently sequencing RNA samples from positive specimens to see if variants are present.

Hours after saying Nebraska has not seen some of the wider-spread variants that originated in places like the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil, Dr. Anthone and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services confirmed the first case of the U.K. variant in Nebraska.

However, he says the latest update from the CDC shows the U.K. variant – dubbed B117 – has now been detected in the majority of U.S. states and territories.

Health experts continue to stress the best way to protect yourself from the virus and its variants is to practice good hygiene, social distancing and mask wearing.

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