Concerning news about COVID-19 variant

Dr. Jen Ashton has what you need to know about the 501Y.V2 variant from South Africa.
2:02 | 01/22/21

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Transcript for Concerning news about COVID-19 variant
We start with the numbers from Johns Hopkins university about this pandemic. We're now looking at more than 97.5 million confirmed cases worldwide, at least 24.6 million of those right here in the U.S. With more than 410,000 American lives lost. That's right, and Jen, we've been reporting from the beginning of this pandemic, important to keep our eyes on the multiple issues that are going on right now. Also focused on case counts, vaccine rollouts, there's all sorts of potential difficult news, including those covid variants and more. Get us up to date on everything. And we've been talking about those variants. Here's what we know at this point, because this is an evolving situation. First of all, in South Africa, there's a variant known as 501y.v2. It's known as the south African variant. Although we don't like attach a variant to a particular region. However, this variant is now in at least ten European countries, as well as Israel. It has three mutations that actually decrease the antibody's abilities to block and recognize the virus and there's growing evidence that is suggesting, I want to emphasize, suggesting that the south African and Brazilian variants may possibly be able to evade our immune system. Okay, doc, what does that mean? What are we talking from a medical standpoint -- Lot of clinical questions that we don't know about yet. Vaccines, will they still be effective? Early evidence suggests yes. But we still have to follow that. Testing methods, will they be able to detect these variant strains? That's an unknown. And the antibody treatments that we have talked about, will they be effective? There are some suggestions unpublished, unpeer-reviewed at this point they may not be as effective. I was in a good mood. Sorry. No, we need to know this information, whether it's difficult or not. Thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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