'Highly unlikely' Vietnam outbreak came from new COVID-19 strain, UCSF doctor says

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Tuesday, August 4, 2020
'Highly unlikely' Vietnam COVID-19 outbreak came from new strain, doctor says
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UCSF doctor explains why it's "highly unlikely" a new strain of COVID-19 is to blame for the recent outbreak in Vietnam.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Vietnam's Health Minister on Sunday blamed a more infectious strain of coronavirus for a spike in infections there.

But doctors in the U.S. say that's highly unlikely.

"They're just looking at minor variations in the protein spikes on the COVID that doesn't mean it's a new strain in fact you expect variation," said Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, UCSF infectious disease specialist.

Dr. Chin-Hong says Vietnam's assertion is based mainly on statistics, not lab work. He says there's no convincing evidence of a new strain.

According to Dr. Chin-Hong, wearing a mask is extremely important when it comes to protecting yourself and others from COVID-19. He says follow the three W's, wear your mask, wash your hands, and watch your distance.

Vietnam imposed strict health guidelines and currently has 621 covid cases, 201 of those reported just this past week.