Faster-spreading COVID-19 variants detected in northern Sask.

This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which cause COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. Viruses are constantly mutating, with coronavirus variants circulating around the globe. (NIAID-RML via AP)

COVID-19 variants are spreading in Saskatchewan, with cases now detected in the north

The Northern Inter-Tribal Health Authority (NITHA) says there’s been two variant cases detected in the far north eastern and far north western part of the province — not disclosing exact locations.

Dr. Nnamdi Ndubuka, NITHA’s the chief medical health officer, says the variant cases can be 30 to 70 per cent more transmissible than the original COVID-19 virus.

“It can spread faster and it can cause individuals to be more sick than the original COVID-19 virus,” Ndubuka tells CTV News.

“So what this means is that our health system could be overwhelmed very easily.”

With the new variants in the north, Ndubuka says it’s more important than ever to follow public heath orders and avoid travel.