Docs: COVID variant warrants scrutiny

Delta variant is prompting anxiety that it could cause more severe illness or higher degree of fatalities.

By

State News

June 23, 2021 - 9:39 AM

Lee Norman, secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, said the agency revised information shared with the public about known clusters of COVID-19 infection. Photo by (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

TOPEKA — More than 100 cases of the COVID-19 variant first identified in India and given the shorthand name Delta have been diagnosed in Kansas, prompting public anxiety this variety could cause more severe illness or a higher degree of fatalities.

Lee Norman, secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, said in an interview Monday genomic sequencing on samples drawn from Kansans had identified 47 mutated versions of coronavirus in the state. In all, KDHE said 1,460 people scattered among 60 Kansas counties have contracted an alternative to the original coronavirus.

Nearly 700 of those cases were concentrated in Sedgwick County followed by 165 in Johnson County, 148 in Shawnee County and 44 in Douglas County. Lab work has identified 20 to 35 cases each in Finney, Cowley, Wyandotte, Labette, Crawford and Geary counties, KDHE said.

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