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How concerned should we be about global COVID-19 outbreaks?

Virus Outbreak India
Posted at 4:36 AM, May 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-10 09:51:06-04

India is one of the many countries still struggling to gain the upper hand in this pandemic, but they're not the only ones.

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In the global society we live in, how devastating and dangerous could COVID-19 outbreaks abroad be to us right here in Arizona?

"The big thing we are worried about right now is the variants," explains ABC15 Health Insider Dr. Janice Johnston of Redirect Health. "And this is what viruses will do. They will start to mutate and vary. And what we think right now is that the vaccines are being quite effective with these variants, but time will tell."

But as more people begin to travel, what kind of impact will that have?

Dr. Johnston says the safest advice would be to avoid any country or area that's currently experiencing a surge.

"If you're really getting the urge to travel, take a look at what's going in that local community, not only for protecting yourself against a variant, in terms of what to expect because if there is a big surge in a community, you're going to expect different lockdown measures and a lot going on there."

RELATED: India cases hit new record as calls grow for strict lockdown

Public health experts also worry about a major wealth gap when it comes to the vaccine.

Wealthier countries like the U.S. are seeing their vaccination rates continue to soar, while developing countries are seeing their rates stay flat or even drop in some cases.

There is an effort that is happening right now to help vaccinate these countries that is backed by the World Health Organization, and the U.S. recently pledged to assist some of these countries, but the experts warn this is not nearly enough.