Why are there new variants of COVID-19?

Viruses constantly change through mutation and sometimes these mutations result in a new variant of the virus. Some variants emerge and disappear while others stick around for a long time. New variants of the COVID-19 virus are expected to occur. CDC and other public health organizations continue to monitor for new and existing variants so they can provide updated information to help keep the public safe.

You can help prevent the COVID-19 virus to stop mutating by stopping the disease from continuing to spread. Taking measures to reduce the spread of infection, including getting a COVID-19 vaccine and wearing masks in places where community transmission is substantial or high, are the best ways to slow the emergence of new variants. To see if Clay County is experiencing low, moderate, substantial or high community transmission, visit the data hub webpage at clayhealth.com/data.

Show All Answers

1. What is the Omicron variant?
2. Is the Omicron variant in the United States?
3. Is the Omicron variant in Clay County or Missouri?
4. Why should I care about Omicron?
5. Is Omicron more dangerous than other variants?
6. How can I protect myself from Omicron?
7. Do the COVID-19 vaccines protect against Omicron?
8. What are the symptoms of the Omicron variant?
9. Why are there new variants of COVID-19?
10. Can I learn what type of COVID I have?
11. How are variants discovered?
12. How does Omicron compare to Delta?