SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. (WMC) - Shelby County Health Department is reporting a major growth in the number of variant cases in February -- most of them the UK strain.
SCHD says 42 cases involving the UK variant, South African strain and Brazilian strain have been reported in Shelby County.
The CDC says the three variants are more transmissible than others.
The Shelby County Health Dept says 80% of the variant cases are the UK variant and there were five times as many variant cases in February than in January.
Infectious disease expert Dr. Steve Threlkeld expects this number to grow.
“The mistake would be waiting to change our behavior until we see those numbers rise,” said Threlkeld. “They are going to rise. I think the CDC mentioned a few weeks ago we should assume one of the viruses in our communities is one of the more transmissible variants.”
More than 182,000 vaccines had been administered in Shelby County as of 10 a.m. Wednesday.
Almost 60,000 people have received both doses.
The CDC says the three vaccines currently available seem to protect against all known coronavirus variants.
Still, there were 41 new cases of COVID-19 reported to the Shelby County Health Department in the past 24 hours.