BATON ROUGE, La. - A health officer with the Louisiana Department of Health has called the Lake Charles area the worst region with rising COVID-19 variant cases.

On Friday, LDH medical director and health officer Dr. Joseph Kanter said the area's percentage of overall COVID-19 cases almost doubled the past week, reaching 11.9%. Kanter believe it's mainly because of the D117 or the UK variant.

The LDH has identified 164 cases in the state.

Kanter said during the virtual Louisiana COVID Equity meeting that there's likely more due to limited testing. He fears the variant could spread throughout Louisiana.

"Because we know the variant is more transmissible, to 50% more transmissible, we think it's driving transmission there and we're worried that that's gonna bleed over into the rest of the state," Kanter said.

Kanter told meeting attendees that the three vaccines Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson are a really good match for the UK variant. He said if vaccines are given out quick enough, Louisiana can avoid another surge.

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