The complete lot it be vital to know about a original Covid stress spreading all over U.S.

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Concern is mounting this morning over a new coven sub-variant that is rapidly spreading across the country new CDC numbers show that The Strain accounted for at least 43 percent of confirmed cases over the past week so what do you need to know joining us now is some answers no one better than NBC News medical contributor Dr Kavita Patel Dr.

Good morning to you so this new strain is being called the Kraken variant so we're getting a little more dramatic with the names here officials here in New York say it now represents close to 73 percent of cases so how worried should we be about another surge yeah Joe and Lindsay you should always be worried when we're naming things.

After mythical creatures but Kraken putting the name aside it is one of the most genetically transmissible and kind of antibody resistant variants that we've seen today which is why the World Health Organization and the CDC and basically all the countries around the globe are trying to call attention to it and just remind people that the basics.

Here work when we're trying to protect ourselves so yeah I want to emphasize what you just said in a new report the World Health Organization called this new variant the quote most antibody resistant to date so how will that impact people who do catch it could it affect them more severely compared to.

Previous strains we've seen and how do the vaccines maybe plan to all this yeah all great questions number one we don't know whether it is quote unquote more severe it takes unfortunately kind of going through a surge and then really looking at the data but we do know especially with New York data and what we're seeing around the world that it.

Can equally hospitalize and kill immunocompromised and elderly people as other Omicron variants did so we know that it is at least on par with The lethality or the ability to kill that other variants had then to the next question about vaccines lots of Studies have been put together to look at our current updated bivalent booster vaccine.

And it performs modestly about 30 percent Effectiveness and that's still a number that's kind of in a you know calculation stage again because not everybody's had the bivalent booster but that is really lower Effectiveness than I would like to see with an updated booster however it's still better performing than the original series of.

Vaccines so getting updated is better than not but we know that it might not be enough to protect you especially if you're older or have chronic conditions that put you at high risk so Dr Patel we live in this world now where people have returned to relatively normal life not a lot of mask wearing people are going out and socializing so considering that but.

Also what we're starting to see right now with this variant what are the best things to do to protect yourself against the new variant yeah it's all the basics as we know and have been talking about for years now but on top of just keeping just a little more extra Consciousness staying home when you're sick all of those things I.

Just want to put in another reminder that at least our antiviral treatment specifically Pax lovid which is in pill form it's something that you can check with your doctor especially if you're 12 and above and you're eligible for it this is something to remind people that if you do get it that there are options and that there are places to go that you.

Can at least online get these medications try to protect yourself if you do get the virus and then isolate yourself because we do know this is incredibly contagious and that reminder as you said if you're not feeling well we still want you to stay home you can work from home you can do whatever all right Dr Kavita Patel as always thank.

You so much appreciate it thanks for watching our YouTube channel follow today's top stories and breaking news by downloading the NBC News app

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