HHSA Newsroom

OMICRON: Public Health officials explain how infectious variants mutate 11/29/2021

Published December 8, 2021

A new variant of coronavirus was identified in early November in South Africa and is now known as the Omicron variant.

So, what is a variant, and what causes them?

COVID-19 is a virus,” explained Anna Vietti, a community education specialist for Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA). “So, when a virus takes hold of your body, it has a reaction to it. Therefore, the more bodies it can get into, it can cause changes, which we call mutation.

Vietti says the more a virus mutates, the more it creates variations of that virus known as variants.

There are three levels of warning when it comes to variants.

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Contact Community Relations:

Amy Koslosky, Supervising Community Education Specialist, (530) 225-5970

Jill Haskett, Media Liaison for CalWORKs, CalFresh, Medi-Cal,  Work Readiness, Adult Protective Services, and Women, Infant and Children (WIC) programs, (530) 229-8413 

Christopher Diamond, Media Liaison for Stand Against Stigma, In-Home Support Services, Adult Services and Mental Health, and alcohol and drug programs., (530) 229-8484 

Anna Vietti, Community Education Specialist, (530) 245-6863

Kimberly Ross, Community Education Specialist, (530) 229-8478

Jeri Butler, Senior Public Health Assistant, (530) 225-3689

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