Researchers are working hard to learn more about the two new types of COVID-19.

BATON ROUGE, La. – Researchers are trying to learn more about the two new types of COVID-19 that have just been discovered in the LSU Health New Orleans lab.

“This virus (COVID-19) is changing so fast that we have to follow it because if it is different, the vaccine needs to be changed,” said Lucio Miele, MD. PhD, Co-Director of Precision Medicine Lab and Professor and Head of Genetics at LSU Health New Orleans School of Medicine.

The new models are the Omicron models that have been undergoing the latest COVID-19 operations. A team of LSU Health researchers should monitor multiple models of COVID-19 to determine their origin and distribution.

Dr. Miele separates the genetic variation of 50 to 100 test Louisiana COVID-19 per week in the Precision Medicine Lab. It reveals the DNA of each model.

“We can tell how it differs from other viruses we have been following and whether it is a new member of the family,” he said.

Last week, four models unveiled two new versions of COVID-19 that were not available.

Dr. Miele states:

In the Omicron subvariants, these new species are called BE.1 and BF.1. Dr. Miele and his team found three cases of BE.1 and one case of BF.1 at the end of June.

“These new appearances, a total of four, were amazing. Now we need to follow them,” said Dr. Miele.

Because it is new, Drs. Miele does not know the differences between the two types, how they are transmitted, or how they can make you sick. That’s why they keep an eye on them to see if there are more cases.

“We still do not know what this means. It will depend on whether it starts to spread,” he said.

It is not known how it all started. Dr. Miele said he either came from outside Louisiana, changed into a new species within a patient with COVID, or came from an animal.

“The virus that causes COVID-19 is not just human. It can infect rats like mice and rats, it can affect cats, minks,” said Dr. Miele.

His main message is to take the findings as a sign that COVID-19 is still in our area.

“It is not over, it will not end so in the meantime the best thing people can do is if they are not vaccinated they should be vaccinated,” he said. Miele.

He said he is not receiving as many examples as he would like since the COVID testing has dropped. They need PCR tests, which they receive from Ochsner and the Louisiana Health Department.

“If enough people continue to experiment, we will follow this,” said Dr. Miele. “If someone has symptoms that could be COVID-19, yes, test yourself and isolate yourself, but if you can, try PCR because that’s what lets us know what’s spreading.”

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