UW Medicine tracking COVID-19 Delta variant in Washington

SEATTLE, Wash. — UW Medicine’s Virology Laboratory is tracking the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant in Washington.

Health experts warn the Delta variant is more transmissible than previous mutations of the coronavirus.

UW Medicine reports that as of Monday, the lab has detected 170 cases of the Delta variant—also known as the B.1.617.2 strain—in the state. This variant has led to a rise in COVID cases in India, China, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States.

“It’s something that we’re really concerned about when we’re watching those numbers over time,” said Dr. Pavitra Roychoudhury, UW Medicine.

The Virology Lab runs genome sequencing of positive COVID tests, which allows them to identify strains of the virus.

Roychoudhury says the best way to protect yourself from the Delta variant is getting one of the FDA-approved COVID vaccine.

“The vaccines are very good and the vaccines are very effective at preventing severe disease, regardless of which variant the person is infected with,” she said