India Virus Variant Identified in Two Southeast Iowa People

May 6, 2021

(Associated Press) – A third coronavirus variant that was first identified in hard-hit India has been uncovered in Iowa, state public health officials said Tuesday. The Iowa Department of Public Health said it has confirmed two cases of the variant, SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617.  Health officials are still learning about the characteristics of this strain, but it is not designated as a variant of concern, “indicating that there is not currently evidence of increased transmissibility or more severe disease caused by this variant,” the agency said in a statement, noting the recent U.S. advisory warning against travel to the South Asian nation.