UW Medicine Virology Lab tracking 170 cases of COVID-19 Delta variant in Washington state

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

A technician sets out vial trays in the UW Medicine Virology Lab
Photo courtesy UW Medicine

Researchers at UW Medicine’s Virology Laboratory are closely tracking the statewide spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant, which health experts say is more transmissible than other mutations of the virus.

As of June 14, the lab has detected 170 cases of the B.1.617.2 strain in samples from Washington state. The variant has caused waves of new cases in India, China, Sweden and the United Kingdom – and is now on the rise in the United States.

“It's something that we're really concerned about when we're watching those numbers over time,” said Dr. Pavitra Roychoudhury, acting instructor for the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at UW Medicine.
The lab identifies strains of the virus through genome sequencing of positive screening tests. Essentially, the process identifies the strains present locally and across Washington state.

The FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines provide the best available protection against the Delta variant as well as all other mutations detected since the pandemic began, Roychoudhury said.


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