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Variants Get New Names, Alpha Variant Most Prevalent In Oklahoma

COVID-19 variants are getting new names. 


The World Health Organization announced last week that variants will be named after Greek letters. 


Dr. Jennifer Clark explained why today during an update from Oklahoma State University’s ECHO Project.


“People do not well with B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 and that kind of thing. The second thing is there’s a lot of contention and blame,” said Clark. 


Previously, variants were named after the locations where they were first identified. WHO called this practice “stigmatizing and discriminatory.”


As of June 1st, data from the Oklahoma State Department of Health shows that UK strain B.1.1.7, now known as the Alpha variant, is the most prevalent variant in Oklahoma with 295 cases.  


The India variant, now known as Delta, has seen an uptick in infections with 30 cases reported in Oklahoma. That’s up from 17 in May.