State doctors discuss latest in COVID-19 pandemic in Oklahoma
OKLAHOMA (KXII) - Medical researchers in Oklahoma met virtually Tuesday to show their latest developments in the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to his research, Dr. David Kendrick, Founder and CEO of MyHealth Access Network, says school-aged children are the state’s highest hit group for contracting the virus at 14% positivity rate.
He says it’s the highest that category has ever been, since the beginning of the pandemic.
”This may just be academic or we may be seeing something fundamentally different with a different strain of virus- something causing spread in children in that age group” Dr. Kendrick said.
Oklahoma State Medical Association Dr. George Monks says there are three different, new strains of COVID-19 that scientists know of, and two of which could very well already be in the state.
“This has been described as a super COVID, it’s also more infectious.” Dr. Monks said.
He listed the strains as: B117 a U.K. variant, B1351 a South African variant, and P1, a Brazilian Variant.
”As far as B117, that is here in the United States, it’s likely here in Oklahoma, it’s present in 24 states” Dr. Monks said.
Doctors aren’t sure where this surge in school-aged children came from, but say it’s possible there could be false negative test results.
”We don’t know the exact number of virus particles that make someone asymptomatic or that make a person infectious to another person. Additionally, the current tests do not differentiate between dead or dying particles, and virus particles that are alive and infectious” said Oklahoma City pathologist Dr. Cindy Starkey.
Other professionals say it could have to do with guidelines in order.
”20% positivity rate in communities without a masking policy, 15.3% positivity in communities with a mask policy” said Dr. Kendrick.
The panel says more research will be what brings them closer to answers.
”We have an opportunity to get out of the mode of community spread, which we’ve been looking at now” Dr. Kendrick said. “Basically it means the virus is everywhere and (we want to get) back into the mode of looking for outbreaks and try to identify those where we can see which individuals have shared the virus with one another.”
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