COVID variants are becoming the next front in the ongoing battle against the virus. The U-K strain is at the centre of a significant and swift moving outbreak in Newfoundland and Labrador. That province has been placed in a lockdown and the provincial election scheduled for today has been switched from voting in person to a mail in ballot only.

Four cases of the U-K variant have been confirmed here in New Brunswick – more may confirmed in the coming days since Public Health is waiting for results from 40 tests sent to the national lab in Winnipeg.

Other provinces have reported cases of the U-K variant and the Brazil variant has been confirmed in Ontario. There is also a South African variant and today there is word from British Columbia of a Nigerian variant being detected in that province.

All variants – especially the U-K variant – are highly contagious with swift transmission rates. Both Pfizer and Moderna say their vaccines are effective against the U-K variant. Some experts are suggesting the variants will lead to a third wave more troublesome than the first two waves of COVID.

For a New Brunswick perspective on the variants – watch Infectious Disease Specialist Dr Gordon Dow’s presentation during a news conference earlier this week here.