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New technology helps identify COVID-19 variants

Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 8:56 AM CST
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LAREDO, TX. (KGNS) - The Laredo Health Department has acquired a new machine that will help reveal new variants and mutations of COVID-19.

Officials there say the machine is capable of successfully detecting any pathogen bacteria, fungi and virus.

Because of how quickly the virus can mutate, they say it’s important to detect these variants quickly.

Dr. Chamberlain with the Laredo Health Department says based on the number of active cases in our community which the Texas of Department of State Services did share there is over 8,000.

Chamberlain says the health department suspects that Omicron is in Laredo due to the rapid acceleration of cases in the community, so all cases are being looked at as an Omicron infection.

Amelia Solis says the advantage of having this machine is knowing what variant the person has so they can isolate them and avoid the virus from spreading.

Chamberlain goes on to say that the new machine will allow the health department to detect variants within about 24 hours; however, not every sample will be submitted.

As soon as employees are trained on how to use the machine it will be up and running.

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