As the United States reaches the one-year anniversary of battling the COVID-19 pandemic, there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel with more vaccines rolling out. But, another potential threat is still lurking — the coronavirus variants. It’s normal for viruses to mutate and change, but because the coronavirus has affected the world so dramatically, fears over how these variants will affect us abound. How many are there? Where are they? Do the vaccines work against them? Are they more fatal? How could they affect when we are able to beat the pandemic?
In a recent CNET article, Dr. Nicholas Pantaleo discusses what you need to know about the COVID-19 variants.
“COVID-19 variants occur as the original COVID-19 strain mutates. This is a normal process among viruses and occurs usually as a mistake when the virus is replicating inside the body,” says Dr. Nicholas L. Pantaleo, internist and family medicine physician at Westmed Medical Group in Westchester, NY. “Most mutations do not change or weaken the virus, but some can make the virus stronger or more infective,” says Pantaleo.