Dr. Martha Whyte from the Louisiana Office of Public health talks about the latest COVID variants, including the Indian variant, which has been discovered in Caddo Parish.

"We just found the first two cases of the Indian variant," says Dr. Whyte, "It's a little more concerning. Because we know we have these two, I'm sure there are more cases here. And neither of these people traveled, so they got it from someone."

And why is this form of the virus getting more attention than previous variants? "(This variant) has more changes in it. It has more changes in it so it's more worrisome to us because...we know it is more contagious, we believe it is more resistant ," says Whyte, adding that currently there is no proof that the Indian variant is more problematic to those who have been vaccinated.

Whyte continues to emphasize the importance of vaccinations, mentioning how Louisiana is lagging behind other states in percentage of it's vaccinated population. "The issue is (the unvaccinated) are harming other people. That's our big fear. Who are you giving it to? It's not just about you."

Whyte adds that the two confirmed cases in Caddo Parish are, as of now, the only cases in Louisiana. "The problem is," she says, "it's one airplane flight away."

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READ ON: See the States Where People Live the Longest

Stacker used data from the 2020 County Health Rankings to rank every state's average life expectancy from lowest to highest. The 2020 County Health Rankings values were calculated using mortality counts from the 2016-2018 National Center for Health Statistics. The U.S. Census 2019 American Community Survey and America's Health Rankings Senior Report 2019 data were also used to provide demographics on the senior population of each state and the state's rank on senior health care, respectively.

Read on to learn the average life expectancy in each state.

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